By Karen Sheehy
When I first received my “Holy Spirit” assignment for this summer’s on-line book club, I thought, “Crippled? How odd.” After all, over my twenty years as a licensed physical therapist, I had encountered many brave and inspirational women far more equipped to reflect on this topic than myself. Ironically, as I began to read Colleen’s testimony and biblical interpretation, I soon saw my own mirrored reflection in her documented woundedness and spiritual healing.
At once, I found myself at Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where seven years earlier, like the crippled woman in the story, I made my “way into the synagogue” in search of Jesus. The Holy Sepulcher, located near the ancient Jewish synagogue, is perhaps the most sacred Christian pilgrimage site in the world. It contains both the Crucifixion and Resurrection sites of our Lord. It was there, that I encountered the healing gaze and touch of Jesus. It was there, that I entered crippled and left healed.
Kneeling before the Crucifixion site, I cried out, “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Please Lord, tell me how to reach my son, Joseph.” Adopted as a new born, Joseph was my rose, for he contained simultaneous beauty and thorns of sorrow. Over time, his special needs and aggressive acting out had taken its toll on my personal and family well being. Immersed in sorrow, I heard Mary say, “You are living the sorrows of my broken heart. Love and support your son as I have loved my own. Offer up your suffering for the redemption of his soul and the conversion of his heart.”
Filled with purpose, I journeyed onward. As I entered the Sepulcher, or empty tomb of Jesus, I did not find the Lord, but He found me. Suddenly, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and heard Him say, “Rise up my beloved, for your sins are forgiven. I heal the wounds of your youthful disregard. I free you from the shame of your failed and short lived first marriage. I release you from the inadequacies of your infertility. Rise up, my spouse, for you are beautiful to behold.”
As I exited the empty tomb, I felt a tremendous surge of love filling up my body and soul. Instantly, I stood tall, for I had encountered Jesus at the foot of the Cross and in the empty tomb of Resurrection. Feeling low and weak, I was lifted up and fortified. Now, I stood strong and determined to embrace the pains and joys of motherhood, the pains and joys of discipleship. Stand tall, my sisters, and call upon the name of Jesus, a Jesus hung on a cross and risen from the dead, for there, one finds forgiveness and spiritual healing.
- In Colleen’s commentary, we read about a woman finding healing in the house of the Lord. Healing is a two-way encounter. It requires desire and acceptance of God’s mercy. Do you go to the house of the Lord and seek His healing presence during times of trial, uncertainty, and pain?
- Intercessory prayers, offered on behalf of another, often lead to our own inner healing. This was certainly my experience at the Holy Sepulcher. Can you recall a similar incident in your life?
- Healing is not the elimination of past hurts but the ability to stand tall and walk forward with renewed hope, beauty and love. This week, spend time in Adoration or prayer, and simply gaze into the loving eyes of Jesus. Imagine Him looking back and saying, “You, my spouse, are beautiful to behold.” How does this make you feel? Do you have difficulty seeing Jesus as spouse? If so, prayerfully reflect upon and comment about the following Scripture passages: Isaiah 61:10, Song of Songs 4:7-16, Matthew 9:14-15 and 25:1-10, and Revelation 21:1-4.
About the Author:
Karen Sheehy is a devout Catholic, wife and mother, motivational speaker, blogger and developer of spiritualsafariguide.com, your passport to a world of spiritual inspiration and understanding. To learn more about Karen Sheehy and her upcoming book entitled, The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Journey Towards the Light of God’s Love, visit http://www.spiritualsafariguide.com