It is in these afflictions, which succeed one another each moment,
that God, veiled and obscured, reveals himself,
mysteriously bestowing his grace in a manner
quite unrecognized by the souls
who feel only weakness in bearing their cross…
~Jean Pierre du Caussade from The Sacrament of the Present Moment
The past few mornings have been unveiled in snow flurries, mist and fog, tentative spring dawns of freezing air and warming soil trying to break loose from the vise grip of a tired and dying winter.
I am struggling under the load of 14 hour days working with despairing and suicidal people, in addition to keeping a barn clean and animals and humans fed. Even sleep is not restful when there is so little time to quiet myself in reflection and gratitude.
I am keenly reminded of my weakness as my strength wanes at the end of a long day, having slipped in the mud while trying to gain traction unloading a couple hundred pounds of manure from the wheelbarrow. Landing on my backside, my pants soaking through, I can choose to laugh or cry.
I choose to see the baptism of mud as a sacrament of the present moment, reminding me of my need for a cleansing grace.
I laugh and cry.
Though obscured from view, God is nevertheless revealed in these moments of being covered in the soil of earth and the waste of its creatures.
He knows I need reminding that I too am dust and to dust shall return.
He knows I am too often wasteful and a failed steward,
so need reminding by landing me amidst it.
He knows I need to laugh at myself,
so puts me right on my backside.
He knows I need to cry,
so sends me those with the saddest stories and greatest needs.
He knows I need Him, always and ever more,
to restore a sacrament of grace evident in the present moment
and every moment to come.
To be known for who I am
by a God who laughs with me,
weeps for me
and groans with pain I have caused~
I will know
no greater love.
When Jesus wept, the falling tear
in mercy flowed beyond all bound;
when Jesus groaned, a trembling fear
seized all the guilty world around.