‘When things go wrong…’
Everyone reading this has things ‘going wrong’ in their life at this point in time. Think of them, from the small and silly to the serious and distressing. If there isn’t anything serious in your life at the moment there will be in the life of someone dear to you. We react or respond to these things in a variety of ways. We accept or swear, we fight against or passively accept, we try to learn from the situation or to be resilient, we give up or we ignore our pain. And we can react in a variety of ways in the same situation. But how do we see God in these situations?
In the worst of situations, we ask ourselves, ‘Where is God in this mess?’ and all too often we fail to find an answer. But maybe the question is the wrong one. What we could ask is ‘How do I find God in this?’ This shifts our focus: God is not the outsider manipulating the situation, but immersed with me in it. One of the challenges we have as Christians is that no matter how good we are, God rarely takes tough situations away from us. We have to go through them, often feeling bruised and helpless. But God wants to be with us in our lives, in the mess, muddle and pain. We have to struggle – not only with the situation but also it seems with God. We have to die to so many things for life to emerge.
This Friday, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. While the cross was always central to our faith, the image of Jesus on a crucifix did not emerge for centuries: it was too raw, too humiliating, not at all like the way people wanted God to act. Over this coming week, we could look again at the things ‘going wrong’ in our lives, and try to see just how God is with us in our struggle.
Loving God, help me to realise just how scandalous Jesus’ death was and then let me know how you can be with me in the difficult and times of my life. I ask this in Jesus’ name, confident that you will hear me.
Sr Kym Harris osb