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The Unexpected

Posted: January 22, 2015

I recently heard the news that two friends will be dealing with serious health issues. I was sad, because I know that there will be long days ahead. Both friends are strong people of faith surrounded by wonderful families and friends.

It reminds me of the uncertainty of life with all of its twists and turns. This morning I gathered with an amazing group of women who meet weekly for Emmaus at St. Patrick’s. It always lifts my spirits. Emmaus translates as, “Hammat” in Hebrew which means, “Warm spring.” It is ironic because I always refer to them as my, “drink of water”…  When I am in their midst, I always feel renewed and refreshed no matter how busy things get at work.

Sometimes I have been tempted to cancel Emmaus, because of pressing commitments. But, I know how critical it is to have time to reflect. Taking time to get re-centered and renewed makes every-thing work better. It also gives me clarity and joy.

I'm reminded of the importance of this when hearing difficult news. Even in our darkness, God is with us. And, he sends people to journey with us.

During long winter days, we wait in anticipation for the light of the world to be born. We sing, “O, Come Oh Come, Emmanuel” or, “God with us” during Advent. This presence never leaves us. We can have experiences like the Apostles in the story of Emmaus. After the crucifixion, Jesus was walking with the Apostles, but they did not recognize him. They were discouraged and sad. It was only when they stopped and broke bread that they finally realized that the stranger was Jesus. He had been with them all along.  

Even in the midst of despair God is with us. Even when don’t recognize his presence, he is there. Even in the midst of a long journey with uncertainty, he is there. God is the only constant and certainty in times of uncertainty. God is the one sure thing that we carry with us.
As I reflect, I know that my friends will meet their challenges like they have met everything in their lives … They will face it with characteristic humor, tenacity and unflinching courage. I also know that God will be with them and will bless them with strength and courage.