We have encountered so many lovely people and experiences along our journey thus far. The presence of God is manifested to us daily in all that we see—beautiful skies, butterflies, and yes, even mosquitoes! Crossroads is an adventure of so many seeming contradictions, much like the adventure of life and the inner journey towards God. For, we say that Christ has conquered sin and death, and yet, why do we still see so much suffering, selfishness, and hurt around us?
Throughout the past week we have encountered the theme of hope in so many little ways. At one of our host homes this past weekend, our hostess shared with us a story about a man who had a vision of aborted babies as he grappled with the horror of it all. The babies told him to not be afraid and sorrowful. While abortion is evil and they wanted to live their lives, the aborted babies rejoiced at the opportunity to offer themselves in sacrifice for their parents. Thus was revealed the tremendous power of God to bring good out of any evil, even abortion. For, by the power of Christ’s Cross, we are assured of victory.
But the battle is not over...
Christ invites us to enter into His suffering and death, that we may also enter into His resurrection. This is what it means to be pro-life. Crossroads really magnifies and reflects the reality that in order to come to the fullness of life in Christ, He calls us first to a personal encounter with Calvary. On Crossroads, there is much time to enter into oneself, to see things about oneself that were formerly hidden. This process is often painful, but it is beautiful to thus walk with Christ to Calvary. It is only when we recognize our own brokenness and lowliness that we can reach out to others. As we walk, it is not so much about getting publicity. Rather, it is about journeying with Christ through prayer and sacrifice, service to one another, and ultimately, love.
As Pope Francis said not too long ago, where there is no love, there cannot be truth. In Edmonton this past weekend, we really felt the spiritual warfare being fought around us. First, we were stuck in traffic right in front of the ‘gay pride’ parade, on our way to pray outside of an abortion clinic. Rather than being discouraged, we turned to prayer and offered up our suffering brothers and sisters. The hostility often received by such demonstrators illustrates their great need for love and healing, and so we love and pray for them, that they may come to accept the Truth of the Gospel of Life. After the parade passed, our RV suddenly overheated and we just made it into a gas-station parking lot to cool off. When we finally arrived at the abortion clinic, we were extremely late and Ian was waiting for us with his own adventure stories. While taking Lucy to the airport in the van, his GPS and phone both broke down and he got lost trying to find the clinic. But as soon as we came out of Saturday evening Mass, both started working again and the RV hasn’t malfunctioned since. These experiences serve to fill us with hope, for we know that we are fighting a battle—but in, with, and through Christ.
And so, we continue on in our days of seeming contradictions, but united in Christ. Hence, a horde of blood-thirsty mosquitoes become a gift when we see that God is giving us an opportunity to enter into His redemptive sufferings as we journey, one foot in front of the other, to Calvary—the ultimate sacrifice of Love. And thus we are faced with the amazing reality that our experience this summer is actually a micro-view of what God is calling all of us to in life.
Blessed be God!