Foreword: Hope Beyond Your Tears
Hope Beyond Your Tears, by Trevor Hudson. (Upper Room, 2012.)
Trevor Hudson is remarkably gifted at unrolling the contents of a scriptural story right into the midst of your life. He is an open soul—something learned through a long spiritual process in his life—who is able to open other souls. Yours and mine. This is our profound need: for our souls to be opened. To turn loose the inner bondages by which we shut ourselves in, away from others and from God. We have been hurt. There we think we are safe. There we die alone. Who can help us?
The opening of a soul comes through little cracks and progresses slowly. We are such beings as can only let go of our inner hold in response to grace—true gift, no strings. Grace gently suggests to us that good is present and coming toward us. This is perceived through a tiny crack in our armor. Could we widen that crack just a bit, get a slightly better view? Perhaps begin to let the gift enter our shell, just a little? Perhaps we could begin by spending some time quietly resting in solitude and silence.
The stories of Jesus are the primary overtures of grace in a world that knows little of true gift. We can let them in. Indeed, they are so winsome, who can keep them out once they appear? They are like raindrops and sunshine, and the flowers in our soul begin to grow. Without our knowing how, without our even intending it. We begin to find good we did not expect or hope for: here, there, in the world, in others. In ourselves, can it be? We ask, “Who has done this?” And we find that Jesus himself came in with the stories.
Meditation is turning to the gift of Jesus. Waiting before it. Paying attention. Letting things be what they are. Finding we have a soul. Suspecting that we are an unceasing spiritual being with an eternal destiny in the world of a good God. Meditation itself proves to be a gift in retrospect.
At first Mary “did not know it was Jesus.” She thought he was the gardener! What we learn in meditation upon Christ is from another world but does not demand understanding at the outset, just longing from the heart. Mary had that. You probably do too. So make space for it, and take this little book as a guide. Just follow the instructions given by the author. Let the words wash over you. They will do the work. You can count on it.
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