Husband & Wife Articles


 

A Heart Hidden in Christ

There is room only for love in the tabernacle with God

By Heather Keimig

“For in the time of trouble, he shall hide me in his pavilion; In the secret place of his tabernacle he shall hide me.” Psalm 27:5

The Keming Family

Bill and Heather Keimig have a young family with five children, "thus far," they say.

We have a son who is a cuddler – perhaps you know the sort. It took him forever to stop coming into our bed at night for all sorts of reasons, most often for no reason at all other than he woke up and thought it seemed silly to go back to sleep in his own bed, all by himself. He still craves physical connections and thrives on snuggle time on the couch.

Rather than telling my boy to “grow up,” it has occurred to me that I should take his example. After all, as the Psalm quoted above says, the Lord wants me to rest in him more often, more completely, so he may hide me in his tabernacle. His tabernacle – where Jesus remains with us in the Blessed Sacrament – seems to be a perfect place to hide, especially during quite times in church. What a safe place it must be! How quiet, how sacred. There I would be, cuddled up with Jesus – just like my little boy loves to cuddle up with his daddy at night.

I was recently reacquainted with Psalm 27 when I went to Confession after feeling my generosity stretched by a person in my life. Although I didn’t think my actions had been directly sinful towards this person, I wasn’t so clear that there hadn’t been those more challenging and subtle “sins of omission.” My confessor listened patiently, talked to me briefly about the situation and gave absolution – and then asked me to read Psalm 27. I wondered immediately what insights to my situation the Lord had in mind for me in that Psalm of David.

The words of protection and triumph in the Lord brought tears to my eyes! How great is our God! How deep and all-consuming is his love for his children!

Since that time, I have read and re-read that Psalm many times to find fresh comfort in the power of the Lord to be my refuge in any circumstance. The process of becoming more and more detached from what is presented to us in our normal lives is a necessary part of becoming more and more attached to the Lord; it’s what any person who desires to grow in the Lord should expect and even anticipate with joy as a sign of becoming more closely conformed to God.

Christ surrendered everything but the essence of his divinity, to become all things to us. His Mother also showed us a path of perfect sacrifice and holy indifference to all that she might have expected of her young life so that she could be at the service of her Son and Savior. When we, too, decide to become disciples and follow the Lord’s footsteps, we should expect to be asked to give up our particular attachments to other things, one small thing at a time. The giving up of those friendships, possessions, pastimes, reading materials, TV programs or even our whole way of life can become beautiful gifts of love to the Lord. In effect, we say to him, “I choose you over …” and here we each fill in the blank with the next surrender of love we are privileged to offer the Lord.

After all, tabernacles aren’t very large places. Although they may have ornate and extensive exteriors, they are relatively cozy inside, with enough room to hold the parish’s ciboriums and little more. As we rid ourselves of those things that cling to us and control us unnecessarily, we suddenly find it so much easier to fit inside that tabernacle of the heart and cuddle up with Jesus. Next to him, there just isn’t room for a large-screen TV, an X-box, a fancy car, a big briefcase, a boat, a shopping mall, a huge wardrobe, and so on! What there is always room for, though, is more hearts – so leave your stuff behind and bring a friend. People – souls – are what the Lord loves and desires. And they should be what we love the most, too.

Let us not be afraid to call out to our Daddy in heaven for comfort, for reassurance, for love. Yes, he wants to be a part of the details of our lives. But he wants our attention, our focus, our best effort at love. He will teach us the rest, if we let him touch our hearts.

Heather Keimig, a homeschooling mother of five children, writes from her home in Maryland when she’s not enjoying some “cuddle time” with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.