Not to belabor the point, but this has not been the Lent, Holy Week and Easter I thought it would be. "Look at the friends you keep company with and you needn't wonder why" a little voice said to me. My God is one Who suffered and suffers still. My beloved saint perfected joy in suffering. A terrible Easter Sunday was followed by bad news on Easter Monday followed by even worse news on Easter Tuesday. It was getting pretty difficult to carry on as expected when out of the doom and gloom, some bright light. A not-at-all religious person confided in me that she was desperate for her sister, who has been stricken with an aggressive form of cancer. "My family is not very religious, but do you think you could pray for my sister?" Sure. And as I've done so many other times, I prayed and then forgot about it. So it was totally unexpected to receive the phone call today to tell me that the news was excellent and despite what the family had been told to brace for with the the latest round of tests, everything came back negative.
So, just when it seemed like I couldn't take another step with the cross, the hand that has so often come to my aid reaches down and takes the brunt of the load off of me with the gift of a prayer answered in a way that brought some much-needed joy. I started thinking about how my prayer life sometimes resembles labor. The pain may seem overwhelming at times and might even cause some irrational thinking and behavior. But once the fruit of that labor is realized, all of the pain is forgotten and gives way to the hope and joy of new life. Is it really that great of a price to pay when I think about the return?