by Clarice Lee
Before coming into the school, I did not have a good image of God. I saw God as one who abandoned as I could not feel his presence in times of deep pain. I felt that Jesus ignored my cries for help, and allowed me go through pain and suffering alone. I viewed the world as one that was cruel, and view God as one who would not save. In the times that I could pray, I imagined my injured self as a 10 year old child crouching down and crying in a dark room. And my older self was an exhausted parent who was sobbing outside as she could no longer help the child and bring her to Christ. After all, how could I turn to a God whom I felt abandoned me? Eventually, I decided to enter the School of Witness (SOW) with the hopes of changing my image of God and obtain inner healing. In the initial weeks of SOW, I struggled to surrender the most painful parts of my life to him. I was afraid that Jesus would fail again, and the little child within me did not want to be vulnerable only to get hurt once more.
My conversion took place during an inner healing session. We were invited to write down what we wanted healing for, and speak it to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament; just as the hemorrhaging woman had done in the Gospel of Luke. I struggled to write down what I wanted as I doubted that God would heal me completely from my wounds. But when the session leader read out the bible passage of Jesus in Jericho and the healing of blind man Bartimaeus, I felt a strange prompting to write down what Bartimaeus requested from Jesus. In the Gospel of Mark, blind Bartimaeus called out to Jesus many times in a crowd. When Jesus asked him what he wanted, Bartimaeus replied that he wanted to see.
I did not understand why this struck me, but decided to follow the Spirit’s prompting. With the Blessed Sacrament in front of me, I proclaimed that I wanted to see, just as Bartimaeus did. I then had a strange conviction that God gave me new sight, although I still did not know what that meant. As I sat down to pray, I had a vision of my inner child standing outside at the benches. I could not see clearly due to my wounds, but Jesus did not give me new eyes. Instead, Jesus gave me a pair of spectacles which helped me to see. Then I saw a queue of young children who were similarly wounded, lining up to see me. My inner child assured them that I had difficulties seeing, but now I could see clearly because Jesus granted me new sight. I did not look sad, instead I joyfully pointed them to Jesus.
God reminded me through this vision that my wounds would never go away. He calls me to embrace my brokenness and unite my sufferings with his. Jesus could have given me new eyes, but instead, he gave me new lenses to view my past. No longer do I look back with anger and sadness that God abandoned me, but I was able to see that God was there in my pain and suffering. I was reminded of how my wounds help other people as I could empathise with those in pain. He uses me as a living testimony of his love to bring more people to Christ. We all hurt, but through the suffering and pain, we bestow on others a great gift that Jesus never abandons us. He loves us and he is there in our pain and suffering. This is the beauty of our wounds.
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