‘You are the disciple Jesus loves’

| Alyssa Bormes | November 10, 2016 | 0 Comments

The other day, I found myself having another magnetic resonance imaging test. There have been about a dozen trips to the narrow white tube for me. Each time, the technician compliments me on how still I was during the test.The secret? That crazy confine is a great place for prayer!

This last “holy hour” in the cramped cylinder had me praying that God use my suffering for another soul. Oddly, I didn’t have to wait long for the answer.

Just recently, three women gave me a ride. One of the women asked a question that began a conversation about suffering. This later prompted an email to me from one of them who was aching both physically and spiritually. She was then about to have — and has now had — a surgery that has uncovered the need for another, more aggressive surgery. The physical pain has tapped into the spiritual pain. It nearly always does.

From the beginning of our email exchanges, we had spoken about the difficulty of praying through pain; longer prayers are too much sometimes, as concentration can be so difficult. We have walked through some very short prayers of “Jesus, I trust in you,” “Come, Holy Spirit,” and even just “Help.” But one night, it was a bit different. She spoke of the wall between her and Christ, and her inability to let him in.

Yes, I remember those days; I still have them at times. It was just such a time when a dear friend wrote to me saying, “You are the disciple Jesus loves.” Of course, my reaction was, “Are you crazy? I am not!” In my mind I could hear his voice saying, “Yes you are.” And so I really did ponder it in my heart.

In a text conversation, it was time to write this to my friend in pain. Off went the message, “You are the disciple Jesus loves.”

Her response was so beautiful. “I like that. It’s hard for me to believe, but if I say it enough, hopefully it will sink in.”

And here was mine: “Amen! He loves you and it makes him ache because you find it hard to believe, but you are the disciple Jesus loves. Let him tell it to you by you repeating it so often that the walls are too hard to hold up. There will be crumbling bricks all around you. Let yourself be too tired to rebuild your walls. Just let them crumble, and stand in the rubble of it all, and let him gaze at you. He is wildly in love with you, not having to overlook your wounds, but loving you all the more because you had to endure them, and to suffer them. It is right there when you think you look your worst that he loves you the most. In his eyes is an ocean, and the name of the ocean is Mercy!”

This prayer has followed me for years now, in the darkness, in the bright white confinement of the MRI test, and has found its way through my fingers to this article.

You are the disciple Jesus loves. Stand in the ruins of your own walls, and let his mercy wash over you wave by merciful wave.

Bormes, a member of Holy Family in St. Louis Park, is the author of the book “The Catechism of Hockey.”

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Category: Everyday Mercies