Last week I spent a few days in counseling, to sort out “stuff” related to the whole kidnapping situation. One thing the counselor had me do, which I found really helpful, was to go over the whole two days when these events happened, in my mind (which wasn’t a problem, as I was already reliving the kidnapping every time my mind wasn’t actively engaged with anything else), and visualize Jesus at work in each moment of these events, as things progressed.
At first, I was sort of sticking a cardboard-cutout version of Jesus into each scene. He was just sitting there, and patting my hand and saying, “It’ll all work out in the end.”
But then I did my “homework assignment”, which was to take a specific passage from the book of Luke, where Jesus did a miracle, and use the pattern of that story to put Jesus into our story. This worked so well that I wrote it down. Last week it was something rather private that I wouldn’t have wanted to share with anyone but my closest friends, but this week it doesn’t feel that way, so I thought I’d put it out there.
If you’d like to read the original story, it is found in Luke 7:11-17.
Here’s the Trish version:
Now it happened, the day after, that Jesus was near a city called Gracias . . . and when He came to the village of Catulaca, behold, a child had been carried off, away from his mother, by a bandit. A large multitude of people from around the world were with the mother, crying and praying with her over her lost and endangered son.
When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then He came and touched the heart of the bandit, and the bandit’s heart was softened toward the boy. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, do not hurt this child, but return him to his mother.” So the bandit turned away from the evil he was plotting, and released the child unharmed. And Jesus presented the child to his mother.
Then amazement came upon all, and they glorified God, saying . . . “God has heard and answered His people.” And this report about Him went throughout all of Facebook and the rest of the Internet.
I can’t tell you exactly why, but once I had done this whole exercise, I no longer found the story entering my mind whenever I wasn’t otherwise occupied. It has been a relief to no longer be obsessively dwelling on it! Obviously I had known that God was at work throughout the whole situation, but somehow it helped to be able to “see” Him there, in person, in my mind.