I have often mentioned the "Sacred Space" website. The Irish Jesuits have created it to allow us to spend a few moments in prayer during out hectic schedules. Today's posting shows the story below:
Something to think and pray about this week
Imagine John, a boy of 12, who has been abused by his father all his life. I ask myself: “How does God see this young man?” Surely our God of compassion must have a special place in his heart for him, for what he has suffered as an innocent child.
Now imagine Joe, a 22 year old who is out robbing to feed his drug habit. He is breaking into peoples’ homes, robbing their valuables. An old woman, lying in bed at night, hears the downstairs window breaking and is frightened to death. She feels so insecure now that she wants to leave her home, but can’t. I ask myself: “How does a God of compassion see Joe?” I imagine that God must want justice for the old woman and the hundred others whom Joe has frightened. But as for Joe? I don’t know.
Lastly, imagine Gerry. He’s 18 and he robs defenceless people to feed a drug habit. Why? Because the only way he can cope with having been sexually abused as a child is to take drugs. How does a God of compassion see Gerry? I don’t pretend to know. I doubt there is some tidy solution somewhere. But love does strange things.
A mother once came to me and said: “Father, I don’t know what to do. My son is a drug user. He has often come into the house demanding money, and if I didn’t have it to give him, he’d smash all the windows in the room. Sometimes he has even beaten me, because I didn’t have the money for his drugs. I don’t know what to do.” “Where is he now?” I asked. “Declan’s in jail, Father, and now I have my first bit of peace in five years.” “And do you ever go to visit him?” I asked. “Ah, Father, I go up to see him every Saturday afternoon without fail. Sure, isn’t he still my son?”
Declan had never said sorry to her, but she could still say: “Sure, isn’t he still my son?” I learnt a lot from her about love, and about God, and about how I should love. What should I have said to her?
Visit and ponder how he should have responded, how would God have him respond?