My illness has drawn me closer to Christ. The Christ that I am drawn closer to is the one who suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, and whom God raised on the third day. My suffering is meaningless and vain if not for the crucified one who came and lived in a particular time and in a particular place. I am drawn to love him more because it is his scared hands that hold me in my pain and tiredness. It is his pierced side that my head lays against when I am tired and feel depressed about how my body feels. It is his resurrected body that promises resurrection to my pain filled body. It is this One who deeply understands and gives me the grace that I need each day.
The past several weeks have been very laborious for me and difficult. Yet the place I consistently find joy is where I see the hand of Christ at work. As I look I see the Crucified One more and more. I saw him yesterday in the smile of my son and the beauty of my daughter. I saw him in the long suffering of my wife and in the honesty of my men's group. I saw him today in the women who were making quilts and packing school kits. I saw him in our volunteers showing mercy by giving out food to the needy.
This morning I saw him in the sun and in my dogs and in the beauty of nature. This is what sustains me each day and gives me reason to smile and for hope. It is the historic Christ that allows us to enter into the paschal mystery. What grace and love flow from his hands into our hearts!