This week is National Marriage Week. The storms of the pandemic have stretched and frayed—and sometimes weakened—relationships between husbands and wives. The storms of having to work from home, homeschool children, and even just be together in new ways have overwhelmed the tiny boats of already fragile marriages and families tossed about in today’s society.
This morning in prayer, I imagined myself sitting at a table made by St Joseph in the tiny home of the Holy Family. I shared with Mary and Joseph what was capsizing my little boat, and soaked in the compassion of the three most beautiful people who ever lived. I imagined St. Joseph putting his hands on my shoulders, sharing his strength and stability that came from witnessing how the providence of Abba saved them, even as they found no room in Bethlehem for the Savior to be born, or as they had to flee from Herod for their lives. I felt Mary at my side, who as Mother par excellence knew the broken heart of one who could not save her child from humiliation and death, receiving him into her arms and sorrowing heart, and worshipping him as the King as he rose and ascended into heaven. I let Jesus comfort me as a child would. How delicate his kindness as he confirmed that life is indeed hard and sometimes filled with tears!
As I directed my vision and imagination to the images of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, as I chose with St. Joseph to hold onto Limitless Love’s providential care for me, as I opened my heart in prayer instead of complaint, I felt my little boat was tied to the pier of the Kingdom of Love. I knew that even though the boat will still rock and be tossed about on the storms of life, it will remain safely tied to the Heart of Love by my desire to be of the Kingdom, and the King’s holding me safe in his arms.
Friends, I invite you to fill your imaginations and hearts with images of the Holy Family strengthening you with their wisdom, experience, and witness. Feel Mary reaching out to you to dry your tears, St. Joseph bracing you against the troubles of life, and Jesus holding your gaze with his eyes that say, “I have you. I won’t let you go. Hold on to me. Hold on to me.”
There is a line that frequently appears on social media when people post about their need and struggle. “You’ve got this!” people comment somewhat reassuringly. Instead, I invite you to remember that, even when your boat rocks in the storm (which it will), God has this. God has you. Hold on to him. Hear him whisper, “I have you. I won’t let you go. Hold on to me. Hold on to me.”