When she was faced with people others found difficult to be with or even threatening, Mother Theresa would pray, “In what distressing disguise do you come to me now, Christ?” That is the prayer of a person whose heart and soul have awakened to Jesus and his ways. That is the prayer of a person who faces the world as an obedient, hopeful witness. That is the prayer of a person who has been converted to Christ and whose attitudes, talents and will are undergoing conversion to Christ-likeness.
As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have opportunities to bear witness everyday to the difference Christ has made in our lives. In the midst of war, economic uncertainty, political campaigns, natural disaster and the occasional ornery human being, we can become victims of fear, rumor and the imaginings of conspiratorial minds, or we can live as faithful, hopeful, honest, loving, mercy-and-justice-seeking servants of the Living Lord. We can see the days filled with threat—and there are some to be sure—or we can face the world knowing, everyday, Christ is at work transforming and redeeming every good and terrible happening through his love and grace. We can fret and complain—which can have its place (for a while) as part of being honest about life and where we sometimes find ourselves—or (better) we can join God in the Spirit’s work to love the lonely, feed the hungry, house the homeless, pray for the sick, walk alongside (with humble, listening hearts) the spiritually wounded, encourage the emotionally bruised and befriend the friendless. We can live awake to God’s love.
In choosing to serve others in service to Christ, I have found the presence of Christ in others and in myself. I have found renewed purpose for life and energy for living, too. I am grateful Christ has made me awake to his presence. I am grateful, too, that Christ has brought me face to face with the pain of people in the world. Once awake to Christ, once I began to know his love and grace, I could not help but ask how I could be his servant in taking his love to the world.
Today I am awake to your Presence, O Lord.
I am awake to the dissonance in our relationship.
I am awake to my critique of your management
of the world.
I am awake to the possibility of the cross I
am to bear.
I am awake to the paradox of your love
found in discipline, in silence,
in compassionate action.
I am awake.
Help me stay in this waking moment and
not be concerned about the waking moments
Help me move through what was and is to what
You will to be.
Learning to listen,