This post is condensed from a talk originally given at Renewal Ministries’ 2021 Lift Jesus Higher Rally. The entire event and individual talks are available on our YouTube Channel. The article also appeared in Renewal Ministries’ May 2021 newsletter.
Recently, I was laying in bed with my one-year-old son, trying to get him to sleep, and he squirmed onto my chest and laid his head against my chest. I sang, “Jesus, I love You with all my heart and all my soul, and all my mind. Jesus, I love You.” I began to imagine how Mary would have held Jesus against her chest, and how she would have sang to Him. I remembered something a spiritual director said to me in my early years of motherhood, when it was a difficult season and I couldn’t get to Adoration or the sacraments often. He said, “Christy, do you not know that Jesus dwells within your child? Will you not meet Him there?”
I was brought to tears, knowing Jesus was with me in that moment. Jesus is not limited by our current circumstances. He is not limited by this pandemic, or anything we are living through right now. Jesus’ ability to meet us here and now remains the same. Whatever you are doing and wherever you are at, Jesus wants to meet you. He wants to meet us, whether we can get into a church or not.
This was such a good reminder for me. I think as I’ve been journeying through this pandemic, there’s this feeling of, “Let’s just get through this already!” There are slogans out there, “We’re all in this together. There will be an end. We’ll get to the other side of this.” Yes, that’s one way we can look at this time—as a time in history that we just need to push through, that we just need to get through. Or, we can look at this as time that we will never get back again. What does God want to do with you and Him in this time?
I have never experienced vulnerability like I have during this season of the pandemic. In so many ways, we’re being stripped—of good and bad things. Things that were part of our foundation, that were keeping us solid in our relationships and in our way of life, are being stripped away. We can resist that stripping, we can push against it, or we can ask God, “What are You doing?”
Think of this image of being stripped. If a person were being stripped of their clothing, I think there would be two initial gut reactions. You would want to grasp at whatever you could to cover up the parts of you that were being exposed. Or, you would want to run and hide. Two questions came to mind for me: What am I putting on? And to whom am I running?
In the midst of this pandemic, what am I putting on over those areas of vulnerability, of fear, of confusion? And, to whom am I running? I often think that I’m grasping at things to cover up those areas where I feel stressed, where I feel fear, where I feel like I don’t have control over what is going to happen. But the Lord says to us in Psalm 91, “Those who love me, I will be with them in their trouble, and I will rescue them and honor them.”
What if at the end of this pandemic, the Lord honors you for your faith? Not because you were perfect, or because you had it all together, but because every time you felt vulnerable, every time you felt fear or confusion or anxiety, instead of running to things to grasp at, to cover, to numb, you went to Him? What if at the end of this pandemic, the Lord said to you, “My good and faithful servant. You have done well.”
I want to encourage you not to push through this time, but to ask the Lord, “What would You have me do with this?”
Christy DuPuis serves as a Catholic Christian Outreach parish missionary in Martinsville, Saskatchewan. She and her husband have four young children.