My children are light sleepers, so when they fall asleep on me in the rocking chair, it can be a real challenge to get them into their crib without waking them up. Over time I’ve learned the delicate art of pressing them close during the transfer. That way, even if the chair and the floor (and my knees!) all creak in unison, the stirring child quickly softens back to sleep as soon as I gently tighten my embrace.
I’ve often found that God holds us with the same closeness during the difficult transitions of our lives. And unexpected people often emerge to lead us through the darkness. We see this when Christ met Saul, held him close, and led him to Ananias. Previously fearful of Saul’s murderous threats, Ananias lays his hands upon him, heals him, feeds him, even watches as he takes his first wobbly steps as a newly baptized Christian.
Jesus invites us to draw even closer: Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood remains in me and I in him. Christ’s very life, lavishly given to us at each and every moment. This lavish love is the foundation of our communion, which we are called to share—always and without exception—with others (even those breathing murderous threats against us). This is the hard work of the Christian life. And it is the place of the graced encounter with God in Christ, who holds us, carries us, and embraces us, even though all we may see is darkness.