Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity
Announcing my ‘gay self’ to my mother provoked her. It drew tears, and a halting invitation for me to consider whether or not there might be more for me beyond homosexuality.
After that, my declaration provoked my mother to prayer. She knew that only God could bring me home to Himself. She talked more to Him than to me. Her tears and the sacred space she created in prayer gave me pause: ‘If I am free to be gay, then why do I feel so empty?’
Every human being is inviolable, meaning that each possesses an inner sanctum that should be treated with dignity. My mother could never know the depths of my motives and thoughts; only God could. Knowing these limits, she submitted her agenda and her anxieties to Him. She fought for my freedom on her knees, imploring the only One who could set me free.
Years later, I did the same for my son. His addictions had rendered him destitute and my eyes could see his homelessness—spiritually, emotionally, a vehicle with neither a goal nor a guide. I knew that I could not rescue him but I possessed a burning desire for God to do so. I raced to a local church where I began to bang on God’s door for Him, provoking Him and all the resources of Heaven to shine the light of Jesus’ face upon him. The Spirit provoked me and ignited my prayers.
Two passages in Luke helped me here: Luke 11: 5-13 and 18: 1-6. In the first, a man seeking bread for guests bangs on the door of an ornery miser at midnight and implores him boldly to share his wealth. The old crank relents, if only to get some sleep. The second passage describes a persistent widow seeking justice from an uncaring judge who resists her then finally helps her just to get rid of her. Scripture is clear: if even wicked men relent to the bold persistence of seekers, how much more will the perfect Father pour out His Spirit on those who ask Him?
Bold persistence in prayer reaches God’s heart. Yet keep this in mind: God will not force anyone to love Him! If He did, then our response to Him would not be a genuinely loving one. We are right to ask the Father to make His face shine on beloved ones; we are wrong to think our prayers can coerce another to come ‘home.’ Home is the freely given gift of God in Christ, manifest through His Church. He can only be freely received.
May the destitution of those we love provoke us to pray. May we who cry out be converted while we clear the way for loved ones to behold ‘the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.’ (2Cor 4: 5)
‘Your Father in heaven is not willing that any of His little ones should be lost.’ (Matt. 18:14)