The wind is howling outside, bitter and well below-zero. The house creaks now and then against the strong gusts that rush to batter its walls. They threaten to sneak in the cracks and bring their terrible chill into our somewhat geriatric little house. It is a frigid, starless winter night in Minnesota.
But my newlywed husband and I are tucked in tight. He is submerged next to me beneath a pile of blankets, producing a great deal of “man-heat,” snoring softly while I write. Our pups are curled up at our feet. The chill cannot reach us here snug in our bed and the sweetness of this moment is not lost on me. It rests on me softly and brings tremendous comfort. And it reminds me with renewed wonder of God’s incredibly tenderhearted mercy. (See today's Responsorial Psalm refrain: "Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.")
In my first, very brief, very troubled marriage, there were no moments like this. The pain of that experience was so brutal, I thought at times it might stop my heart. Years later, even after the Church in her wisdom would grant a declaration of nullity, I never imagined I would ever remarry. But my God is a God of wondrous mercy, His goodness is great, He hears my every pleading, and the older I get, the more I understand that if I will just wait on Him, trust in Him, He can heal anything. Anything. It is His nature to restore, and not only restore, but to bless, to shower His favor down upon His children beyond anything we can imagine.
So I say with confidence to you, my sister: He hears you. Hope in Him. And if that seems too much to ask, that’s okay. I promise that I will hope on your behalf.
The Salve Regina marian hymn of mercy is an option to be sung after Compline. Want to hear a beautiful rendition?
Liz Kelly is a jazz singer who fell in love with Jesus. She writes, teaches, offers spiritual direction and retreats with a special interest in helping women to flourish in their faith. She’s written six books, including the award-winning Jesus Approaches and the Jesus Approaches Study Supplement. And she still sings jazz, but mainly in the tub and while washing dishes. Find out more about her here.