What happened? All the sudden my preparations and stuff have overshadowed something. Did I miss something? Where did he go?
Where is Jesus in the crush? All of the sudden he wasn’t here. I mean he’s always with me. But, I wasn’t talking to him as much. I was talking in my head. Practicing out how I might handle this situation or an impending discussion. I wasn’t praying or reading my bible or devotionals. I made lists in my head during mass.
Distracted I flit from task to task. Others rent space in my head. What will I wear, say, or do? How do I make the anxieties and hurts go away. I took my eye off my Star. I feel like Mary and Joseph when Jesus went missing. [Luke 2:41-52]. Where was he? They asked all the family and friends. He was not found in the crush to return to Nazareth.
On Monday at dinner my Mom talked to us about reading about Elijah in I Kings 19. Elijah had fled certain death and God took care of him. God asked him what he was doing. Elijah told God how he felt and why he ran for his life. God instructed him to stand before the mount before the Lord. Elijah waited. There was wind that broke the mountain, an earthquake and a fire. God was not in the wind or the earthquake or even in the fire. Elijah found him in “a still small voice” (I Kings 19:12 KJV).
On the way home from dinner, I started thinking about this scripture. So he’s not in the pounding music, blinking lights, or the noise of the crowd. I can’t find him at the mall, discount, or warehouse stores. He’s not even online while I’m desperately shopping. I know Jesus is there when I pray. So, I started there by going back to my regular prayer schedule.
On Wednesday I was reminded that my church was offering reconciliation for Advent. I would have to dash after work to get there in time. I came up with every excuse not to go; Too busy…too tired…too…whatever. But, I could not deny I was seeking Christ in Christmas. This was a time set aside to talk to someone about it. I’m like most people I don’t really want to talk about my confessions. But, I’m going to take a deep breath and share a bit of what happened between me and Jesus Wednesday afternoon.
I entered the chapel as quietly as I could. I look around at the few people gathered at the entrances to where the priests wait to talk with us. I read the names. One priest I didn’t know, one I’ve know for years, and one I have talked to before. I usually go to the one I’ve known for a long time after I pray. So I sat on his side of the chapel. Pulled down the kneeler and knelt. I asked God to settle my jumbled thoughts. I prayed for guidance. My eyes settled on the altar as I sat back and waited. The Holy Spirit settled his arm around my shoulder and I felt the tug of my soul to go to the priest I had talked to before. At that moment the person talking to him came out of the confessional and there was no one waiting.
I looked at my usual priest’s area as one person left and a mother with kids went in to talk to him. The tug grew stronger. I trusted the Holy Spirit. I went to the priest I was guided to and explained my distraction and all the things going on. I explained I’m growing closer to God and I want more Christ in Christmas this year. We talked about distraction, the evil one rejoicing in distracting me, and the process of forgiveness and healing hurts.
I left with a penance of five Hail Mary’s. An easy penance for me to do but, my heart ached as I knelt in the chapel. As I prayed those five Hail Mary’s, my heart cried for the losing sight of Jesus in the crush of my Advent season. In preparing for Christmas I had lost sight of My Star, Jesus Christ.
Tears of happiness began to stream down my face as I realized I had found Him. In the stillness of a quiet chapel He was there. In the act of His Grace to forgive me for wandering He was there. I found him in the quiet of my heart. Like Elijah found God in the still small voice. I found Him in the scriptures shared by my Mom, in the soft tones of a kind priest, and a quiet place of worship.
Peace be with you,