One of my dearest friends turned the big 4-0 this past weekend and had invited my husband and I to join her and her husband, along with another couple, for a weekend get-away. I had been looking forward to this weekend for months, although I was a bit curious as to how the conversations would go. You see, the wife of the other couple was a self-proclaimed atheist, and I knew from her Facebook posts that we have polar-opposite views on many, many topics.
Being in this spirituality, I desired to entrust it all to Blessed Mama. I would jump out of her arms from time to time, worrying about the topics of conversation, or whether I would revert back to the crippling shyness of my youth. I was pleasantly surprised by the ease of the chatting around the dinner table the first night, and found myself on her team while playing a board game.
On Saturday, while the men went off to golf and us ladies enjoyed the spa (yes, I was totally spoiled), I found myself praying for both ladies during my back massage. There would be a time when my acquaintance and I would spend some time together alone, while my dear friend was receiving a different beauty treatment. Although I was originally anxious about how we would fill the time, the prayer time soothed my soul and I was able to re-entrust our visit to Our Mama. As we lounged on the deck, she asked me if I was planning on having any more children, and I found myself smiling and not at all defensive like I imagined I would be (this question was coming from a woman who, when bringing me a hot meal after my fourth child, told me she hoped this was the last one, because I was overpopulating). I just shared the story of how overwhelmed I felt when I first discovered I was pregnant with our fifth child. But the very day we discovered his existence, a friend of my husband’s called, begging for prayers as his 13 year old son was dying from cancer in the hospital. At that moment, my so-called “trial” was flipped 180 degrees into the greatest blessing. I shared about my gratitude and what a gift our son was to each member of our family.
My conversation with her reminded me that I am called to allow God to love me and love through me. I am not to worry about which words to use, or what the end result will be, but just to share my experience of God’s love. Regardless of whether she had a name for God or not, she recognized His presence in my story; she recognized Love. She could identify with gratitude.
I see so many signs of my own weakness during the weekend: anxiety, lack of trust, trials of the imagination, neglecting God’s will in my leisure time..etc, but I love this quote by Rev. Tadeusz Dajczer in the Introduction of In the Arms of Mary by S.C. Biela:
Our sinfulness does not stop God’s action in us. By experiencing interior conflict as a result of sin, we can open up, like St. John the Apostle, who also experienced weakness and sin, to the words the Savior said to His beloved disciple and to all of us: “Behold, your mother” (Jn 19:27). John, entrusted then to the Mother of God, “took her into his home.” We, too, can discover in those words the call to self-entrustment to Mary as we invite her, who formed the earthly face of Christ, to form also this face in us. (S.C. Biela, In the Arms of Mary, 2nd.ed, rev. [Ft. Collins, CO: IAMF, 2005], xxxviii - xxxix).
As a close relative pointed out as I shared the details of my weekend, nothing is wasted. Even in what I perceived to have been a very secular weekend, through my entrustment, I brought Blessed Mama’s presence regardless. Only she could love them through me without commentary, bringing Christ to them purely. On my own, I can only bring garbage. But our Blessed Mother can love all her children even through the weak vessel that I am. It is not up to me to see any fruits, but I can desire that no matter where I go, I go in our Mother’s arms.