“Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord,
Lord, Hear my voice!
O let your ears be attentive
To the voice of my pleading.” Psalm 130: 1-2
“Today my complaint is bitter,
His hand is heavy in spite of my groaning.
Oh, that I knew where I might find him,
That I might come even to his seat!
I would lay my case before him
And fill my mouth with arguments.
“Behold, I go forward, but he is not there;
And backward, but I cannot perceive him;
On the left hand I seek him, but I cannot behold him
I turn to the right hand, but I cannot see him.” Job 23: 2-4, 8-9
There is a famous plea attributed to St. Theresa of Avila that goes something like this , “no wonder Lord you have so few friends, if that’s the way you treat them.” I must admit lately I have been feeling this way; I feel abandoned by the Lord. I feel that he has left me callously to fend for myself in the unforgiving waters of life. Almost everything that could go wrong has gone wrong; Everything ranging from my internship, finances, car situation, health, and mental well being. It feels that the Lord is giving me nothing, nothing to work with. I also feel that no one understands my difficulties; it seems that everyone is quick to tell me what I should be doing, without trying to understand the sources of my discomfort. In these moments I am tempted to despair, and subscribe to a deistic view of the Lord which states that the Lord does not care about the intimate details of our lives; instead he is just a watch maker, he sets the wheels in motion that’s it. To expect anything more from him would be falling into a childish delusion.
Today was the perfect example of my current suffering. I woke up very angry, burdened by the unrelenting pressures of life; to make matters even worse in one of the sessions that I was observing a member spat on me numerous times. I know that it was not his fault, but I felt enraged, this was the last straw, the last insult. It was bad enough that I did not want to be there in the first place, but to be spat on, now that was just plain cruel. I resented him and God at the same time.
In the strangest way I feel most Christ like when I am being beat up by life. As I prayed the rosary on my way to the internship site, I imagined during the third sorrowful mystery, (the crowning with thorns) the humiliation that the Lord must have felt when he was being spit on by the sadistic Roman soldiers and crowd. I also imagined how Jesus must have felt during the Agony in the Garden when he reflected upon the terrors that he would be experiencing during the crucifixion. In short the only thing that gave me a modicum of comfort while I was being spit on was imagining that Christ also experienced the same thing. This little humiliation united me more fully to Christ then all of the prayers that I uttered this past week. The only consolation was that Jesus did understand me, even if I did not understand him or his strange tactics. Jesus also felt abandoned while he lay outstretched on the cross, as he uttered, “My God, My God, why have you have you forsaken me?” It seems that the closer one is to the Lord the more one gets the opportunity in partaking of the cross. But to a fledgling weakling like myself even the slightest pinpricks send me crying into the comfortable arms of self pity. (Remember as I mentioned in my previous blog, (click here) I am an elaborate pity party thrower!)
So in some strange way I am grateful for being spat at, because through this disgusting act the Lord was successfully able to draw me closer to his heart, giving me the steadying strength to keep carrying on my cross just like he did on that fateful, first Good Friday. Misery loves company, in this case if I am miserable just like Jesus was when he suffered then I am in good company. The trick is for me to view these trials through heavenly eyes, not through the limiting lens of my mortal vision.