Gethsemane Remembered

One night, in late 1995 or early 1996 (I don’t remember whether it was shortly before my mother died or shortly afterwards), I was standing in our old house looking out the window of our tiny spare room. Below, wandering down the little road, was an enormous skunk. I wondered why it was out in the snow instead of hibernating somewhere.

I was at this window talking to Jesus about cancer, my mother’s cancer, my mother’s suffering. I talked to Him about His Passion and His sufferings and His pain. I was making it clear to Him, though, that he hadn’t ever suffered from cancer in particular, so He really couldn’t know exactly what that was like. We chatted for a while…which really means, I was doing all the talking.

As I started to move away from the window and towards the doorway to go downstairs, my body was stopped by an outer force. I saw a kind of greyish, white cloud around my body and all of a sudden I wasn’t in the spareroom anymore. My body, I’m pretty sure, was still in the room, but “I” wasn’t. I knew I was in the Garden of Gethsemane with Jesus. I didn’t see the Garden, I didn’t see Jesus, but I knew He had taken me there and He was with me. In whatever time it was, a few seconds or a few minutes, He gave me a small taste and a big understanding of what He had experienced. When I came back to “me” being in the spareroom, I understood that in some mysterious way, perhaps out of time and space but definitely within His own humanity, he had somehow experienced every single thing that it is possible to experience as a human being – every single disease, every single suffering, every single evil. Everything. I was entirely filled with shame and remorse, and yet knew He loved me and wanted me to understand.

I hadn’t planned on sharing this tonight, but when I heard this child’s beautiful voice and the part of the lyrics where it talks about Jesus having experienced everything, I felt like He was asking me to help make sure everyone knows the truth of this. There is nothing He has not known in a personal way, so there is nothing you cannot bring to Him.

7 thoughts on “Gethsemane Remembered

  1. From Good Friday’s Liturgy of the Word, in the reading from Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12… “Yet it was our infirmities that he bore, our sufferings that he endured…”

  2. I am truly happy you had this experience. This idea of unity in suffering is, indeed, difficult to comprehend. I have had very similar thoughts about my, and others, sufferings. It takes grace and faith to get their. I know that you have both.

  3. Our finite minds can’t comprehend the enormity of what was placed upon Him, can they, and I think our hearts would be completely shattered. He gave me but the tiniest taste of it, like waves over my body. I couldn’t have stood any more than that.

  4. Thank you for sharing this, Gabrielle – you are very blessed! He is into us totally and completely, He is in everything to the most intimate details and occurances – all out of love, to be completely intimate to each of us. And I suppose that this is our only mission, to let Him into everything. I am rambling on …

  5. It’s funny, isn’t it, Jerome – it’s easy to understand why human beings can have such a difficult time giving, but more curious and complicated is why people put up such barriers to receiving.

  6. As I’m think of it, it seems like receiving means losing control and the notion of self-sufficiency. It seems like it would mean that we have to be in relationship…

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