A Mary Moment Monday post

As I’ve struggled over the last week with vacation hangover and a state of vomitorium and a general inability to keep focused, I found myself looking at the people around me (all smaller than me, very demanding, and my main responsibility) and struggling.

This excerpt from The Reed of God, by Caryll Houselander, really spoke to my recent state of mind:

If we look for Christ only in the saints, we shall miss Him. If we look for him only in those people who seem to have the sort of character we personally consider to be Christian, that which we call our “ideal,” we shall miss the whole meaning of His abiding in us.

If we look for Him in ourselves, in what we imagine to be the good in us, we shall begin in presumption and end in despair.

Our search through faith and courage and love is a great going out into darkness, a reaching out to others in darkness, believing that Christ is there in each one; but not in the way that we expect, not in the way that we think He should be, not in the way that we already understand, but in the way that He chooses to be, Who is Himself the Way.

How often do I respond in anger, when a gentle response would be more effective? When do I miss the person of Christ in the people who most annoy me, get under my skin, and interrupt me with their seemingly meaningless demands?

Jesus doesn’t always show up the way I think he should. (How dare he?!?) When I serve the people who need me–even if it interrupts the “more important” work I think I’m doing–then I serve Christ.

Why is it so often painful? And why do I miss him so very often?

The image of “a great going out into darkness” expresses how I experience this, so often. And as I’m groping around, bumbling my way and making mistakes, I’m pretty sure I miss a lot of opportunities to find Christ.

I need to believe “that Christ is there in each one,” even though it’s probably not going to be how I expect it.

image credit: MorgueFile