Tonight, as I set into place the 440th piece (give or take) of a 1,000-piece puzzle, something triggered deep within…
Tonight, it’s the color of my soft pink sweatshirt and the warmth of the light in the loft that seems to do it. Grandma comes to mind. It was as if her heart brought love enough to keep all evil at bay. Suddenly, I longed to take the soft pink and wrap all evil in it so those who encounter it may know how deeply they’re loved and not alone. To take all pain and rock it gently would be a grand gift to give.
Mother Teresa said, “If we love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt…only love.” A mama’s heart desires to do just that. So, where does a mama lavish the love she so longs to give when the one they long to love is not able to receive, or worse yet, no longer here? What’s a mama to do?
At such a time as this, we sense the pain of the other. That’s what mamas do. So easy it is to say to one another, “Trust, God’s got this, Let go and let God, or He never gives you more than you can handle.”
Truth is…life is hard. Somewhere along the line we thought it wasn’t going to be or supposed to be. We try desperately to play God so things turn out the way we think they should. We pound our best out onto the pavement of life only to discover that we can do nothing to change that which has been set in motion.
Or can we? I may not have all of the answers, but I do have one.
We can do something. Each and every one of us can. We can turn to the cross. When I do, I see a man hanging upon it. I see a man that was crucified. I see the Son of God. I see all triggers, all trauma and all trespasses against us nailed to it and it reminds me that I am not alone. It reminds me that I never will be. It reminds me that “in my weakness, He is strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
When I look at the cross, it reminds me that life is hard and this world is broken. He gave up His life so that we might turn to Him rather than this world because this world will not satisfy.
Truth is that when this world tries to rip the very heart right out of a mama…we can cling to something. We can cling to His Word as we look to the cross.
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38–39).
It is because He is who He says He is that we are able to cling to the truth of the cross on which He rested so that we may rest in His reassures as we live within the borders of this broken world. To this a mama’s heart can cling. Rest assured. Amen.
Kathleen Kjolhaug, OblSB
This article was first published in Theology in the Trenches, a column written by oblate Kathleen Kjolhaug. Posted with permission. Read more articles on her blog, Theology in the Trenches.
Photo: Triumph of the Cross in Sacred Heart Chapel