“I thirst….” for you

Journal Entry 1/15/10

* I walk in the door with my dad and see a man in the middle of the room tied up. My dad starts laughing at Him as He moves each inch in pain. Never have I seen anything like this before. I ask my dad what this man’s name is, and he says, “Jesus. Now go sit in the corner and play. Daddy must work.” I walk over but cannot keep my eyes off this man named Jesus. He is covered in blood, but He looks up at me and smiles. I smile back and cannot understand how this nice man is a criminal. I watch as my dad and the other guards sit there and laugh at Him. Then, my father hits this man, and I look away. Suddenly, I feel my cheek burning, and I look at Jesus, and I see that exactly where my dad hit him I am hurting. They continue to kick Him and beat Him, and a rush of pain covers my entire body. I look at Jesus, and He is crying. He sits there full of tears but does not fight back. I begin to cry. Why is it that I am feeling the exact pain of this complete stranger? I hear my dad laugh, and I scream, “Stop hurting him!” The room goes silent. My dad very slowly comes over to me, takes my face in his hands and says, “Go outside now. And don’t come back in here.” I cannot control my crying. I run over to Jesus, kiss Him, tell Him how sorry I am, and I run out.

The next morning Jesus is before Pilate, and the crowds are mocking and ridiculing Him. I don’t understand why He is being treated this way. All I know is that I would rather walk side by side with Jesus the rest of my life than ever be with any of these people. Jesus is then forced to carry a cross, not just any cross, but the cross that carries His very death. I run. I run as fast as I can. I run up to Jesus and say through my tears, “Don’t let them do this to you, Jesus! You have done nothing wrong. Run away!” Jesus is covered in blood, and I cannot control my tears. He smiles at me and says, “This must be done. This must be done so I can show you how much I love you. I am willing to die for you. Remember that.” I scream, “But I don’t want you to die!” He says back, “Beloved, trust me. Trust me my little one.” And He begins to walk.

We reach the place where Jesus is to be crucified. I watch as He falls to the ground and is unable to get back up. I see a beautiful woman in blue come over to Him, wash water on His face, and kiss Him. She is so beautiful, and yet all I can see is her red eyes and the tears that keep falling. I want to run over and see her, but again it is too late. My dad has spotted me, and this time He forcefully grabs my arm and won’t let me go. I see as they whip Him again and tell Him to get up. He stands up, and for the last time He stands. They whip Him more, and at this point He cannot control His weeping. They begin to mock Him for this, and I again begin to cry with Him. I keep praying, “God, please save Him. Save Jesus from this death.” I then hear a voice in my ear say,” He will be saved, but this must be done. This will not last much longer.”

Jesus is nailed to the cross. Suddenly, it begins to rain, but only on me. I see a shower of tears come upon me, but no one seems to notice, not even my dad. I then see that I am not the only one crying. God is crying with me.

I hear Jesus say in a loud voice, ” I thirst.” After Jesus says this, there is a whisper in my ear that says, “For you…” Someone goes to get Jesus wine but He spits it out and says, “No, I thirst!” And again the voice says to me, “For you….” ┬áJesus then lowers His head and says, “It is done. Into your hands I commend my spirit.” And I see a light leave Jesus’ body. He has died. I have only known Jesus for a few days, but I feel as if a part of me has died with Him.

Suddenly, I feel underneath me the earthquake. I see rocks split and bodies of light arise from the ground to the heavens. My dad is shaking, and suddenly he looks down. He looks like he is in pain. I reach for his arm, “Dad?” He looks up at me and says through his tears, “That truly was the son of God wasn’t it?” I begin weeping and say, “Yes”. He pulls me into his arms, and he begins crying uncontrollably. He says, “Forgive me. Forgive me daughter. Forgive me Lord!” I say to Him through my tears, “I already have. And Jesus forgave you the moment He died upon that cross, just for you.” *

These are some of my journal entries from the St. Ignatius 8 day silent retreat. During this day, as I meditated on the crucifixion of Christ, I pictured myself as a daughter of one of the guards who was forced to go to work with her dad one night. Her dad hates Christ and is about to crucify Him, but for some reason she is very drawn to Jesus. She loves Him but barely even knows Him. And she walks with Him to His crucifixion (she being me).

To say the least, God moved powerfully in my heart during this experience. Each day we would spend 4 hours in prayer, each hour meditating on a specific chapter from the bible, a specific part of Jesus’ life. As each day continued, I fell more and more in love with Jesus, as my beloved. I would imagine myself in every story, and now when I read about Jesus’ life, I am more intimately connected with His life because I have been through these experiences with Him.

The last few days were the most powerful for me. God allowed me to hearing Jesus’ breathing on the cross, to feel His gentle touch as He would reach for my hand, to see His eyes of love as He looked at me like I was the most important person in His life, and to hear His words of love, ‘Haylee, this must be done so I can show you how much I love you. I am willing to die for you. Remember that.” The whole week I kept thinking to myself, “How can someone love me this much? How can someone who barely knows me die for me?” But by the end of the week, I realized it’s that simple. God loves me. There are no conditions to His love. God loves me more than I will ever know. He loves me when I turn away from Him and forget about Him. He loves me when I desire His praise and attention. He loves me when I deny Him. He loves me. He will never stop loving me. He will never stop loving me. He died on that cross just for me. And He would do it again…. He would do it again.

So what did I learn? O how limited are human’s words… I think for the first time in my life, Jesus allowed me to thirst for Him that way He has thirsted for me my entire life. When He was walking to the cross and was upon the cross, all I kept thinking was, “I just want to be with Him. I don’ t want Him in pain or in agony. I would rather be with Him for the rest of my life than anyone else in this world.” Now think about these words as if they are Christ speaking to you: “I just want to be with You. I don’t want you in pain or in agony. I would rather be with you for the rest of your life than with anyone else in this world.” This is what Christ has been saying to me since before I was born. And now, I experience a love for Him that He has always had for me. I thirsted for Christ. I thirst for Christ. I thirst for Him now the way that He has always thirsted for me.

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