December 31, 2013

A Conversation...


(Above Picture From An Old Holy Card of Mine)


“Why are you here, Dear One?”


She sat there, eyes downcast, the beginning of tears moistening the eyes that looked out from an ashen face.


“Why are you here?”  He prodded gently.  The words felt soft and warm as a summer sun and she was grateful for the soothing of her aching heart.
She had to look up this time. His face was soft, compassionate and full of something...but what? No. The eyes...it was the eyes that held her gaze…


“Are you hurting?”  It was more felt, than spoken...


“Yes”, she whispered.


“Why?”


“I am confused.”


“About what?”


“Mom and Dad.”


“Oh”, was all He replied. And He waited for that which He already knew…


“Mom divorced Dad, you know…”


“Yes, I know…”


“And Mom got her annulment…”


“I know that too” he replied with a heavy sigh...Was there also pain, she thought? She shook her head ever so slightly to dismiss the thought.


“Dad says he still Loves her, though…”


“Be assured, Dear One...He does”, came the soft reply.


“How?!” “Why?!” She tersely blurted and immediately wished she hadn't.


“How can he still Love her after breaking her heart so and Why didn't he tell her if he loved her?” she repeated, a little more respectfully this time.


She waited for His reply. When none was forthcoming , she turned her head slightly to glance up…


He was just staring at her, with eyes that pierced to her very Soul, it seemed.


“Do you not know, Dear One? Have you learned nothing of My Love?”


“What do you mean?!” Again, the terse reply and again the regret...and His sorrowful, quiet sigh. When He spoke, it was quite stern and it took her by surprise.


“Did he ever abuse her? “


“No.”


“Did he ever belittle her?”


“No.”


“Did he ever threaten her?”


“No.”


“Did he ever wish her dead?”


No!


“Did he ever mistreat her in public?”


No!


“I don’t understand, then, Child...how can you say he does not love your Mother? It appears  to me he loved - loves - her very much.”


“But he hardly ever kissed her! Hardly held her hand! Hardly talked to her! How can someone - anyone - not do those things and say they still love someone?”


He waited before answering, as if to give her time to try and clear a mind that was grappling with so much doubt. He knew she was at a crossroad.


“I was kissed and betrayed by one of my Dearest Friends. My hands were held together by ropes and chains. When I was spoken to, it was with curses and jeers. And yet, I still loved.”


When she offered no response, He continued...


“And when the man I chose to lead my Church denied me three times, did that mean that he failed to Love me? That he failed to honor the vocation I had given him? That he failed in his duty to Me, whom he vowed to Love, Honor and Obey? I had every right to turn from him, he had hurt me so...but I did not. And do you know why?”


“Because you are God.?”  It was a question as much as a statement. Again, the silence. Again, the needed look up at Him. Again, the piercing gaze.


“No, My Child. It was not because I was God.”


“Why, then?” she sighed...


“Because despite his faults, his weaknesses, his cursing and his selfishness, Peter had remorse and sorrow for His wrongs. And beneath that remorse and sorrow was rooted the Love which kept him forever Faithful to Me, to my Church, to His Mother. Peter was forgiven much because he Loved much. It is so with your Dad.”


“And you know this how? Oh, yes. You are God...I forgot.” She pained at her rashness and squeezed her eyes shut - hard.


He smiled - did she hear a chuckle? - before He answered.


“No. It is because I see him here, now, with me.”


Quickly she turned, scanning the pews and peering intensely at the shadows around the darkened chapel. “Where is he?” she asked more reverently than ever before.


“You can’t see him, My Child...but he is here. He is always here... alone, sadly. Bruised and sometimes bloodied...standing silently at the Foot of My Cross. You yourself have seen him many times there, though it is clear you failed to take notice.”


It hurt, those words. Though she did not know why: You have seen him many times…


“What do you mean?” she asked, barely above a whisper.


“Whenever anyone disavowed him, whenever anyone failed to forgive him, whenever anyone marginalized and mistrusted him, whenever anyone failed to show proper respect, whenever anyone derided his efforts at reconciliation, whenever anyone failed to heed his request for talking, whenever he committed human error...need I continue?”


She just sat there…


Finally, a small, heavy sigh escaped from the depths of her Soul.


“Oh”...was all she could muster as she wiped the beginnings of new tears from her face.


He waited a bit more, before continuing...


“True Marital Love, My Child, is not produced by external actions alone...The Love your Dad has was formed deep within the Soul where it took root and never died and where it continues to be fortified by the Graces within the Sacrament. Those Graces are still present despite the divorce and annulment. And despite his mistakes, selfishness and weaknesses, he still Loves...”


He waited and then gave a heavy sigh when she had nothing more to offer. She distinctly heard His groan, this time.


“He gets tired of being strong for you - for all his children. He gets so weary, he almost gives up.”


That startled her. “What?” she said.

“He gets tired of being strong for you. He sometimes wants to quit. Even now, at this very moment, he wants to quit.”


“Why doesn't he, then?” she whispered, though she already knew the answer.


“Because he is a Father, and a Father does not quit. It goes with the vocation.”


He waited a bit...waited for her to acknowledge what He knew was coming.


“He really does Love us all then, including Mom” she said matter-of-factly.  She turned and looked up at him. “Doesn't he?”


“Oh, very much so, Dear One. Very much so...and he misses you all terribly. He misses your Mother most of all and though that is now out of his hands, yet his Love for her continues.  He deeply regrets the mistakes both parents made and what all this has done, especially to you children, but he doesn't know what else to do to make you all understand. So... he has stopped trying.”


She was silent for long while and thought she heard Him groan again.


“I...we've... been wrong.”


“Yes.”


“We have to tell him.”


Yes.


“How?”


“Just tell him.


“What if he doesn't care anymore?”


“He does, though he is hurting very much inside. Your telling him what you need to will help that greatly. He waits for you...he will always wait for you. Just like I waited for you.”


She looked up and smiled at him, her Heart finally relieved of its burden.


“Forever?” she asked, plaintively.


“Yes, My Child...Forever. Both of us, always forever.”



Copyright 2013 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

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