Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gaudete in Domino semper - Rejoice in the Lord Always!

On this third Sunday in Advent, Gaudete Sunday, we "lighten up" during this penitential season, and Rejoice in the Coming of the Lord.  What an appropriate day for a little miracle!

Okay, so maybe this year's Christmas miracle is as unlikely as the King of Creation coming to earth as a poverty-stricken infant born in a manger. 

I wrote of my miracle last year and my son's experience in church on Christmas Eve here.  

This year, JSB desperately needs to go back on medication to treat his schizophrenia-induced psychosis.  This holiday season has been a challenge because we have not been able to celebrate with him due to his illness.

Here's where this year's miracle comes in.  I have been praying - intentionally and unceasingly - for JSB to be delivered from this nightmare.  It's funny when you pray for something like this, you think you know what God needs to do.  "Just get him to snap out of it, okay God?"

Sorry for the hubris, Almighty Creator.  I am grateful for your mercy and forgiveness, not to mention your patience.

Remember, I have to tell myself, He sent a baby more than two thousand years ago to redeem humanity struggling in the darkness.  The King of Kings was babe in an animal trough.  

Why do I look to the heavens for transcendent miracles, when God has demonstrated over and over again that He is willing to condescend and come to us as one of us?  Mind you, I love the transcendent.  But, I am reminded to look for God and His miracles in unlikely places.

So, today, he sends me hope in the form of a man who survives schizophrenia, has been down JSB's road, and wants to help.  The first gift is to us, JSB's parents.  To see this man stable, articulate, and living a good life makes my heart leap with joy.  It reminds me of John the Baptist leaping in Elizabeth's womb when he heard Mary's voice.

This new friend was able to give us insight into what JSB is experiencing right now.  That's something that only one who has experienced the negative and positive symptoms of schizophrenia can come close to comprehending.  

Another gift to us is the hope we feel when we look into the eyes of this man who is living proof that a good life is possible with severe mental illness.  His parents are blessings to us as well.  Few people "get it."  Many friends are wonderful and I am blessed over and over by their presence and I would be lost without them.  

But we are members of an exclusive club.  To be able to talk with someone about the things we experience and have experienced without worrying about judgment, stigma, and people drawing back in ..... (fill in the blank), is something we cherish.  Wow, parallel Mary and Elizabeth again.  What a blessing their friendship must have been.  How wonderful that God gave them their Sacred missions and blessed friendship. 

This calls for another Visitation piece.....

The other gift is the hope and relationship this man can potentially offer to JSB.  He is going to write to him, introduce himself and share his story.  And open the door to relationship. Of course there is no guarantee that JSB will immediately grasp this opportunity.  I know that full well.  But, the situation is ripe with potential.

And if things don't work out the way I want them to, it doesn't diminish the miracle.  It's God's miracle, not mine. So, look for them in unexpected places, in unexpected people.  And then Rejoice in the Lord!  Always!

Amen.  Alleluia!

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