“He told his disciples, ‘I have been given all authority in heaven and earth. Therefore, go and make disciples in all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and then teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you; and be sure of this … that I am with you always, even to the end of the world.” Matthew 28: 19-20 (Life Application Bible)

“They began telling each other how their hearts had felt strangely warm as he talked with them and explained the Scriptures during the walk down the road. Within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem, where the eleven disciples and the other followers of Jesus greeted them with these words, ‘The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter!’” Luke 24:33,34 (Life Application Bible)

She had been plagued by much sorrow lately and no human could soothe her hurting soul. Often thinking of Julian of Norwich (born 1342-1416), an anchorite of the church, she thought if only she could have been like her.

How wonderful it would be to live totally enclosed in the church walls, safely behind all matter of worldly chaos. Julian lived with her cat in a room with two windows. The one window opened to the public so they could come to her and speak with her and receive her “wisdom,” concerning their lives. Some believe she was a “Mystic.” However, alas, that was more like a “wish” that would never be granted. So, she must carry on, in this world, as best she could.

When in deep thought, about puzzling circumstances, she would go into her bedroom and read her Bible or one of the many books she reads. One particular book is of a series about “Joshua” written by a retired Catholic priest. The books are so realistic, it is as though Jesus is walking among the people of various stations in life and she could feel herself being pulled into each story and actually “feeling” the love Jesus has for all of mankind.

As she prayed about several situations in her life and others’ life, as she often did, she began to feel a love that encompassed her very soul. It was such a warmth of radiance that filled her up with hope, joy, love, and wanting to know more about her Savior.

Being close to Easter morn and the refreshing newness that would once again come over the Christian community made this experience even more eventful to her.

She loves people, all people. Yes, she has had some very bad experiences with almost every type of person, nationality, or whatever kind of person God has introduced her to along the path she follows.

Some were very hurtful, hateful, belligerent, haughty, and some just plain evil! Yes, indeed, she had seen that evil in some and it had just about broken her spirit each time it happened. However, she knew the Holy Spirit was always walking with her and after a period of mourning ... she had been made strong, again.

God does that. He makes us stronger each time we go through the refinement process of life. She felt this refinement as being the pain she endured in her life; so much internal suffering in her being felt for others; so many tears that flowed when she prayed for herself and others; and so much intense concern for others.

Each time she went through the process of this “refinement,” not by fire, but by anguish, she came out of it stronger in faith, stronger in love and stronger in determination to carry forward what God had called her to do.

She is nothing special, no different than you and me, other than the fact I think she prays and then listens. That is what I am always writing about: Listening to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Now that the glorious time of the resurrection of our Savior has passed, we can, once again, renew our faith and feel the warmth of Jesus’ love abiding within us as we go forth to serve Him as God calls us to do.

We need to reach out in love to all those who come into our path and truly show them by our actions and words “that I am with you always, even to the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20 (Life Application Bible)

May God bless you and your family and any animal companions you may have.

Leigh Moran of Fort Wayne has had wonderful, painful, frightening and uplifting experiences, centered around her relationship with God, that she shares in her writings. She has seen what faith can do for each of us. She and her husband have three children and three granddaughters. A former teacher and a social worker, she is a 12-year breast cancer survivor. She has a ministry for cancer patients in Indiana and Nashville, Tennessee.

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