On Suffering
(Anything from a hangnail to an argument to a temptation.)

Be humble in my suffering.
Be humbled by my suffering.
Find Jesus in my suffering.
Be with Jesus, suffering together.
Know that Jesus carries the greater portion of the suffering!

On our Sinfulness
(Anything from a white lie to an act that compromises our values to a decision to go against God.)

Be humble when I recognize my sin.
Be humbled by my sinfulness and brokenness.
Find Jesus' outstretched hand when I sin.
Be with Jesus, as He takes away my sin.
Know that Jesus has chosen to bear the burden of all my sin, and release it to him!

On Joy
(Anything from a happy encounter to a successful endeavor to a divine consolation.)

Be humble in my joy.
Be humbled by my joy.
Find Jesus in my joy.
Be with Jesus, joyful together.
Know that Jesus experiences far greater joy when we receive his joy!

©Bernadette Harmon, 2017

I was blessed to have a weekend retreat experience recently. A part of the reflections for the weekend included allowing Jesus to walk in the garden of our hearts. If you read the works of St. Theresa of Avila, there is a segment where she describes our garden, and the work we do (or don't do) to tend that garden. The garden represents our spiritual state and tending the garden, our spiritual journey. A recent book, The Shack, by WM Paul Young, also uses the image of a garden to describe a persons heart. On reflection, I had the following insight.

Well, my garden is a wreck! Weeds are springing up everywhere, even at the gate, making it difficult for Jesus to even enter the garden. Random growth springs up everywhere, blocking the growth of seeds that are sown by God and his hard-working army of angels, saints, and faithful! I was able to take this retreat opportunity to allow Jesus to clear some weeds away at the entrance of the garden. As He found his way through the garden of my heart, I found myself walking with him. I was a child, at his side, holding his hand, quite content... In the midst of all the mayhem, I smelled a beautiful fragrance of flowers. Beyond some overgrowth the path opened up to a beautiful inner garden, bushes of blooming flowers, clean, fresh grass and a big huge tree, where we sat together.

Be his child today. Take some time to invite him into your garden, to walk with you, to help you clear weeds, to enjoy his company!

©Bernadette Harmon, 2012