What Now? Post Pilgrimage Joy
It usually takes me a while to get back into the groove of things after coming home from a trip. For as long as possible, I try to hold onto the memory of what I experienced and the emotions it generated. Unfortunately, day to day life creeps up on you quickly, and vacation Kimberli returns to San Diego Kimberli.
The first day I got home, I wrote to a friend about that day. It started with my usual 5:00 am wake-up call, some scripture reading, then I headed out on my morning rosary and contemplative prayer hike. As I left my condo, I dreamed about buying a house in Medjugorje and living just a stone throw from all the Marian apparition sites. That came to a sudden halt when I walked out onto 11th avenue downtown San Diego. There was an unfortunate soul who is stricken with poverty, and the anguish inside of him is displayed by expressing profanities at the top of his lungs. The moment I saw him, I knew I had to live here; this is my mission. Apparition sites are my spiritual fueling stations; however, I need to be where I can serve.
The unique gift the Lord gave me on my pilgrimage was the understanding of love. I have had many discussions, debates, and fights with Jesus about the true nature of love. There have been moments in my life where my heart was broken into so many pieces that I thought perhaps it was permanently damaged. There have also been moments when something was so beautiful my heart could barely contain it. However, when I look at many of these moments, I can see how I manufactured them in many ways. By going to the Blessed Virgin, she led me to the love God wants for me.
"And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing." 1 Corinthians 13:2
A new journey has begun. As I read Romans 8:27, “And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will.” The moment I succumbed to the Love of our Lord and allowed Him to inhabit my soul in pure love, everything around me has changed. I almost feel as if I have had a near-death experience; colors are brighter, the trees are more beautiful, and the faces around me seem to glow. I am filled with peace. I fear no evil and have no need to worry, His will is unfolding daily and it is glorious.
Our Lord has turned me into a gardener. My new job is to plant mustard seeds.
I met Douglas the other day. He was sitting on the trail I usually hike, right next to the stump I stop to pray my novena. He was smoking a crack pipe. I know how unsafe this is and that anything can happen to me; however, I heard our Lord whisper to me, “Fear no evil.”
I said hello to him and asked him how he was doing. He looked at me a little puzzled but began to share his story and how life was getting him down. We talked for another 15 to 20 minutes about random topics. I told him that I hope things change and that he finds ways to see the light of goodness and continued down the trail, and he continued to smoke.
I have seen him twice since then; I think he comes to see me. He is always eager to talk and says he wants to give up the pipe, but it is the only way he can handle dealing with life. The truth is, I get it. When there is no love, there is no hope. Douglas has been stripped of love and is grasping at all that he can to survive. I can see how someone simply listening to him and not judging him is like the water at the well. Our Lord is letting me plant the seed and He will take over from here.
As I journey down this road, filled with God’s love, I am aware of the need to share it. I understand that it is not meant to be stored up like a personal gift. I like to imagine things, and I see my entire body as a vessel filled with His love, and I spend my day emptying it on everyone I meet. At the end of the day, when I rest my head, our Lord fills me back up so I can go again tomorrow and share his love with those in need.
Be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
I am filled with the love given to me by our Blessed Mother. I will not disappoint or disrespect her wise counsel. With prayer, patience, and penance, I will abide in our Lord and allow His will to guide me.
I will make your passion worth it Christ, I promise.