Found or found out?
My niece brought home, mid-term, a sheet that both her parents had to sign. It stated that she was falling behind in chemistry. A free and frank response was given by both parents – then the family set down to work. Her older brother stated that the text book she was using was ‘useless’. The one he had used three years previously was much clearer so that was brought out. Her father sat down and went through her subject to find out just where she had gotten lost and later that afternoon her older sister was teaching her just how the periodic table worked. The body language of my niece spoke of sheer relief: she knew she was in trouble but, like most adolescents, and indeed all of us for that matter, she had trouble putting her hand up and saying, ‘Help!’ She feared being found out but discovered herself found instead. When we are ‘found out’ we think we will be humiliated even more but when we are ‘found’ we are given the hope of change. We discover there is a way out of the mess.
Often we can fear approaching God because of messes in our lives. We think we have to clean up our act before we are worthy. Nothing could be further from the truth. God knows utterly what is out of kilter, even wrong with our lives…and is waiting to help. That is the point of the parables of the Lost Sheep, Lost Coin and the Prodigal Son. We do not have to find our way out of the mess…which we probably couldn’t anyway. We just have to stop, put aside our fear of being found out and let ourselves be found instead. Go on, sit down in one of your messes and say, ‘God, please find me!’
Loving God, you know my life – my joys and successes as well as my griefs and disasters. Come find me in the midst of my mess. Let your good Spirit give me the courage to trust what you could do. I ask this in Jesus’ name confident that you will hear me.
Sr Kym Harris osb