"Come unto me," Jesus said, "all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon your shoulders and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. Your soul will find rest, for My yoke is easy, and my burden light." Matthew 11:29-30
Here the deeper meaning of prayer becomes manifest to pray is to unite ourselves with Jesus and lift up the whole world through Him to go in, cry for forgiveness, reconciliation, healing and mercy. To pray, therefore, is to connect whatever human struggle or pain we encounter - whether starvation, torture, displacement of peoples, or any form of physical and mental anguish - with the . gentle and humble heart of Jesus
Prayer is leading every sorrow to the source of all healing; it is letting the warmth of Jesus' love melt the cold anger of resentment; it is opening a space where joy replaces sadness, mercy supplant bitterness, love displaces fear, gentleness and care overcomes hatred and indifference. But most of all, prayer is the way to become and remain part of Jesus' mission to draw all people to the intimacy of God's love. Henri Nouwen, "Prayer Embraces the World"
Freedom. Joy. Love. Vocation.
So pretty early this morning I met with Jack and Mary Anne on their back porch and they prayed for me.
Prayer is leading every sorrow to the source of all healing
And a year ago before I even had a tiniest clue as to what El Camino was all about, and I was just planning on taking a little sip to get a clue of what this year's promised trip would be like, Marco said to me, "Christy, everyone does El Camino for a reason. Why are you going?" I paused. And paused some more. And the answer that came out from deep within was, "I want God to heal my broken heart."
And Mary Anne said that this was the year of Cracking the Coconut Shell surrounding my heart, breaking it all open to His light. And this morning she prayed for freedom, joy, love, and a clear sense of His calling.
So Mr. Gentle And Humble Brandon and I found ourselves in a pretty stunned silence as we clicked on our seat belts. Beyond just our low grade panic of watching our packed bike boxes roll out of sight. Pretty crazy stuff. But really what could be better? Throwing ourselves into His mercy, totally and completely. To slip on His yoke and head down the path ahead.
And LAX was filled with the human struggle, in each and every face, and each and every hand clasping a rolling carry-on or hefting a thoroughly taped cardboard box or flipping nervously through an iPhone. And we sat next to the very hip Cuban guy with orange pants who grew up in Miami but is now a voiceover actor in Los Angeles and he talked about his grandfather who wrote one of the drafts of the UN's Bill of Human Rights. Which Gustavo found ironic considering his grandfather was a Cuban with no human rights. And I wept through the final snippets of the movie Still Alice as I watched the actress ask my dad's confused question, "I used to be smart, didn't I?" And then we all told some miracle stories. May God be glorified.
Brandon and I finished what was left of his subway sandwich because I kinda forgot to bring trail mix, carrot sticks and granola bars, so I am drinking lots of Mott's 100% tomato juice which is almost like eating something, and if we can make it to Miami, British Airways promises an unending flight of food to London. Which is a lot better than an unending and relentlessly mindless tastes of pop culture as captured by NBC television on our back-of-the-seat-screens. I am discovering that food is going to a big theme when one travels with two sixteen-year-old boys, even before the bicycle factor.
Which should be vivid imagery for those hungering and thirsting metaphors.
Yes, Lord Jesus, I come unto Thee. Hungry and thirsty. For freedom from indifference, joy rather than sadness, and Your loving presence which casts out all fear. And, Lord, may my yearning be to be one with You, united into Your mission to draw all peoples into the intimacy of Your love, because Your cross has torn down the thick stifling curtain which separated us all from You.