All That I Have Written Is Straw. . .

Meanderings of a Catholic Devout

Lying on the pavement

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Today, it’s been one year and two days since I got divorced. 

I didn’t even realize the milestone until an artist friend of mine, J—, revealed that his wife was once unfaithful to him and how he dealt with it while we were discussing fear and trust. Though my ex-husband wasn’t unfaithful, I was empathizing with him. J— painted a very graphic mental image of a dead pig he came across while walking out his frustration in the woods on a dirt road.  The pig was covered in flies, he said, and he felt that it was symbolic of his fear and doubt. 

“An evil report he shall not fear; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.” (Ps. 112:7) and “Do not let your hearts be troubled.  [You] believe in God, believe also in me.” (John 14:1)

These were the verses that brought about my flood of thoughts about the anniversary of my divorce.  When I receive bad news, do I fear?  And I thought to myself, “What’s the worst news someone could give me that I couldn’t handle because of my faith?”  Since I shed atheism and agnosticism, I find myself answering this question differently.

Truly, I don’t fear bad news much anymore.  Sure, there are petty little details I worried myself over, but there is a steadfast stance that my heart has taken over the last few years.  And, of course, bad news hurts, but it doesn’t make my knees buckle.

What is the worst news I could receive? Death? I have lost so many and I am still here and I flourish. Abandonment? As long as I am just, I “shall call and the Lord will answer.” Pain? I “shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!” (Isaiah 58:9)

When I am just (i.e., giving and sheltering), Isaiah prophesied, “Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your wound shall quickly be healed; your vindication shall go before you.” (Isaiah 58:8).

These words, in hindsight, seem to simplify how I felt about the divorce. Though I was sad, I recovered rather quickly and without bitterness. It seemed very unexplainable at the time, but the mercy of God does heal wounds quickly if I let it.

Furthermore, I was made aware of the plight of St. Paul Miki and martyrs, who were crucified in Japan along with several other martyrs in 1597 during a Christian persecution.  The emperor had ordered a public execution of 25 or so Catholics (Jesuits and Franciscans) by crucifixion, including two children.  When the children were brought to the place of the execution, they saw two small crosses and immediately recognized them as their own.  They ran to the crosses, knelt in front of them and hugged and kissed the wood.  When all were being crucified, they thanked the emperor for giving them a chance at martyrdom and bringing them eternal life.

The martyrdom of St. Paul Miki and companions. From hermitbrother.blogspot.com

What an emotional reminder to myself to hug and kiss the cross I will be crucified upon!

In April 1998, I was choking on my seat belt in a turned-over vehicle.  I was fearful.  There was no God. 

But soon, I was lying on the black pavement with an oxygen mask while paramedics worked over me. And there was God.  And with Him, peace.

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Written by Written Straw

February 11, 2011 at 11:28 am

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