Drawn by peace and joy

July 1, 2015 - 12:00am -- Living City

Drawn by peace and joy
Bringing a taste of God’s love

Last year, I ended up in a hospital needing surgery. I believe God knew my confidential words, the problems I was dealing with and the sighs within me. After being admitted into the hospital, I had to wait a few days before the operation, which was a bit stressful.
There was a crucifix on the wall in my room. While there and waiting, I would focus on it, and I found courage and peace as it reminded me that, even in my suffering, I was in God’s hands.

The surgery was successful, for which I was grateful, but there were moments of fear and discomfort to say the least. Afterwards, I felt as if I was hit by a Mack truck, and I was never so tired in all my life. Basically, I just wanted to be left alone and to sleep, but as anyone who has been in a hospital knows, the doctors and nurses have other plans for you.
I remembered how Chiara Lubich would encourage us to embrace the cross in our sufferings and offer them as Jesus did. Even in the hospital, I wanted to bring his love to others, so when they woke me up every few hours to keep checking things, I tried to smile and be cheerful.

I was in the hospital for quite some time, so I had the opportunity to interact with many hospital staff. I wanted to not just be friendly but bring them a taste of God’s love.
Receiving the Eucharist and feeling the power of all the prayers that many were saying for me gave me the grace to respond so often with his love.

A fruit of that, I think, was that when it was time for a member of the staff to accompany the patients who had to walk the halls several times a day for exercise, many times they would ask to walk with me.
I believe they were drawn by the peace and joy that comes from my trusting in God and by the presence of Jesus that my wife, friends and I tried to keep among us by loving.

— Bob Lulley, Long Island