You know the point in dealing with a difficulty or suffering where you’ve had just about enough? Perhaps you complain to God or beg him to take away the pain. We’ve all had those moments, and we’ve probably all experienced something that gave us perspective or opened our eyes to the value of our suffering. For Katie, that was a special moment with her two young sons.
“This last year right after Holy Week, I suddenly had to have a procedure to take my toenails off my big toes … but I had also just had a baby in February of that year,” said Katie. She explained that her newborn son’s baptism was scheduled for Divine Mercy Sunday, shortly after her procedure.
“Here I am, all of a sudden hobbling around in horrible pain with these open wounds on my toes … especially having to care for a newborn and I have two older sons. I was just feeling very crushed by that at the time. And I know it’s such a small thing compared to many others, but I was on the verge of tears at one point just feeling the raw pain, the sting and burn of those wounds,” Katie explained.
That’s when her two sons, ages five and seven at the time, stepped in with some powerful words of wisdom. They “leaned over the couch and handed me a drawing they had made with crayon. At first I couldn’t tell what it was, and they wrote on it, ‘Offer it up. Feel better, Mom.’ And I said, ‘Oh this is so sweet. What is it?’ And they said, ‘It’s the feet of Jesus, Mom, look!’ And they had drawn me the feet of the crucified Christ there together on the foot of the cross with blood dripping.”
As if that wasn’t enough to astonish her, Katie’s sons handed her another drawing they had made. “My oldest son’s writing said, ‘Remember and think… Mom’s pain’, and it was this tiny little pencil circle, and then, ‘Jesus’s pain’, and this ginormous scribble that overtook the whole bottom of the piece of paper.”
These drawings, lovingly drawn by children, hit Katie like a ton of bricks. It was as if God was speaking to her through her sons, reminding her to unite her pain to Christ on the cross.
On Divine Mercy Sunday, the joy of her son’s birth and baptism was juxtaposed with the agony and pain in her feet. Even so, she found that sharing that pain brought her closer to our crucified Lord.
Katie reflected, “In feeling the pain of that day, there was some sort of just beautiful love or joy or intimacy with him that wouldn’t have been there otherwise. And so I guess I’m just grateful for the experience.”
Listen to the full segment, including spiritual director Fr. Ethan Southard’s response:
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