An encounter on retreat at St Beuno's
by a Friend of St Beuno's
As I was leaving the Boot Room of St Beuno’s one morning in January, I met Jesus outside, apparently waiting for me.
‘Oh,’ I said, a little hesitantly, ‘I’m going for a walk.’
‘Right, where are you going?’ he replied. (‘Quo vadis’?! I thought).
‘I’m crossing the fields in the direction of the Rock Chapel – to pray.’
‘OK, I’ll come with you.’
So, Jesus accompanied me. I felt a sense of warmth, comfort and safety in his presence but, at the same time, a little anxious. He picked up on my anxiety.
‘What are you worried about? Remember the Lilies of the Field and the Birds of the Air.’
‘Apart from the extra practicalities of life that have been foisted upon me recently,’ I replied, a little resentfully, ‘and now the trauma of re-locating far away, I am very worried about my David.’
‘What are your fears?’
‘Well, whilst on earth, David was very angry with you and your Father. He blamed you both for any problems or mishaps that befell him, instead of taking responsibility for his own mistakes.
I often used to retaliate by pointing out that if he said he didn’t believe in God, how was it that he passed the buck onto a God he didn’t believe in? It didn’t make any sense!’
By now, we were close to the Rock Chapel. I just wanted to sit peacefully there, to meditate and watch the flame of a candle I had brought with me, especially for David, in the presence of my unexpected Walking Companion.
After half an hour or so, we left to continue our walk and conversation.
We headed back through the lower wood. Here, low and behold, appeared the first signs of spring: snowdrop shoots clearly to be seen, struggling up through the damp, decaying winter leaves. Hope had arrived.
‘Mary, tell me more about David.’
‘Well, there is his family background – his childhood upbringing in a very strict ‘religious’ community. He was denied any pleasures considered to be worldly. He had to keep himself apart from others; anyone who did not conform to their rules. So he became resentful, anti-social, anti-faith. He blamed you for his unhappiness. He never experienced a loving and caring God. He had no choice as a child except to comply but when he reached maturity he rebelled …
Anyway, Jesus, why am I telling you all this? You already know.’
‘I need to listen to you,’ Jesus answered. ‘I am aware of your fears and worries. Remember, I am a compassionate God. David is safe with me and my Father, we both love him unconditionally. Far from being ‘barred from the Kingdom of Heaven’ he is learning to play the harp!
He is expressing his talent and love of music, and how he missed his Steinway. I know he was denied praise of any kind as a small boy. He is a star now, in every sense. I created him. He is forgiven.
Mary, do not be afraid.’
By now we were on our way back to the main house – it was nearly lunchtime. Tears, by then, were rolling down my cheeks. I had been confronted by the Truth. My David was in safe hands and was at peace.
Jesus hugged me, and so we parted.