April 23, 2010

Emmaus Walk / Debra Tomaselli

Seeing and believing during the uncertainty of our lives

Debra TomaselliSometimes the Resurrection comes in ways we don’t recognize.

Mary, sobbing outside the tomb, thought the risen Christ was the gardener.

The men walking to Emmaus assumed he was a stranger who knew nothing of the recent events that had taken place in Jerusalem.

The Apostle Thomas wouldn’t believe that his friends saw the resurrected Savior, even though Jesus identified himself.

Just like us. Things happen in life to cloud our vision.

A woman at my church was diagnosed with cancer.

“I didn’t expect this,” she sobbed.

A friend’s business is failing in this current economic climate.

“Now that the last kid left home, this was supposed to be our time,” she wrote. “We should be enjoying life, going on cruises and taking vacations. Instead, we’re pinching pennies to pay the bills.”

And a teacher whose husband lost an eye in a freak accident fears what the future will bring.

We’re standing in the garden, crying. We’re baffled by unexpected circumstances. Or we can’t believe anything until we see it so we are anxious and upset.

Amid the chaos, listen carefully. Look again. He is there. No matter what your circumstances are. Jesus, our resurrected Savior, is staring you in the face.

Years ago, I was frustrated with a particular work situation. Convinced that communication would resolve the issue, I complained to the supervisor. I spoke to the owner. I enlisted support from co-workers. I whined to anybody who would listen, but, much to my dismay, nothing changed.

Today, I recognize the blessing. Had management conceded to my requests, my life would have unraveled quite differently. I wouldn’t have found time to form the Bible study that has been running for several years. I wouldn’t have prepared meals for the homeless or helped my husband start his business. I wouldn’t be writing this column.

At the time, I didn’t get what I wanted. The outcome wasn’t what I expected, but the Lord was indeed there beside me every step of the way.

Through the experience, I learned to lean more on my faith in God than my own understanding when things just don’t go my way. I stopped whining and started believing. It doesn’t matter if I’m dealing with the loss of a loved one, a cancer diagnosis, a job change or financial stress. I learned there is always more to the story.

In the garden, Jesus called her name, “Mary!” She fell to his feet in worship.

It was in the breaking of the bread that the disciples heading to Emmaus realized the stranger who had walked beside them was the risen Christ.

And Jesus appeared to Thomas, inviting the disciple to “see and believe.”

Each and every day, our resurrected Savior does the same for you and for me. In the uncertainty of our lives, he calls to us, inviting us into a deeper faith.

Can you recognize him?

(Debra Tomaselli lives in Altamonte Springs, Fla. Her column appears in several diocesan newspapers. Her e-mail address is dtomaselli@cfl.rr.com.) †

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