I know that such almost-obsession isn't good. But, what can I do? I know it's not right either. Didn't Jesus say "Trust in God and trust in Me?"
Close to despair, my soul cries out "Help me, God! Help my loved one! And what do I do with my worry? I want to trust You!"
I remember the Gospel Canticle (Luke 1: 68-79) used in Morning Prayer, and the lines
"This was the oath he (God) swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship Him without fear....."
My worry is fear run rampant, fear not only of the present but fear of the future for my loved one - how can I pray without this fear scourging me?
The answers filter slowly into my mind as pale light filters through curtains at dawn in a slow sunrise. (Christ, be my Light!)
How can I stop worrying? Worrying is a part of who I am, a burden I acquired through loving others. How can I not worry, when worry is also about feeling others' pain, fear, and anguish? My strong imagination conjures up images of what these loved ones are going through. Is that always wrong?
Yet, my mind argues back, Jesus said not to worry, to trust Him. Trust is part of a loving relationship - and God is the Person you say you love most. Haven't you put your loved ones into God's hands? Don't you accept God's will?
I feel literally split in two, between my fearful worry and my desire to trust God.
Then the resurrected Christ, Son of God, tender as a slow dawn rising, puts it all together for me:
"Trust Me with your loved one. Wrench your will so that you trust Me, and then you can see the truth: you and your loved one are one in Me, part of my Body. Trusting Me, let your worry, your pain, about your loved one BECOME your prayer, your will to help carry your loved one's burden. Offer your prayer of pain to Me, and your prayer will spread throughout my Body like good medicine, helping to carry your loved one's cross, and also the burdens of all in my Body - whom you are also one with - who need such carrying, who have no one else willing to carry them and their burdens.
"I gave you your imagination so you would feel pain acutely; that is a blessing, not a curse. Imagination can be changed into vision. If you can see how your worry becomes a prayer that accomplishes help and healing through Me, then you will be able to let go of your worry outside of prayer time, knowing your love is fruitful. After that, trust Me with your loved one. I alone know the path of your loved one's life journey to Me. That, you cannot alter. But helping loved ones carry their crosses is the greatest gift in their daily lives that they need. Meet their needs in prayers and deeds."
My worry, born of love, IS my prayer when I give it all to Christ. My prayer of pain-filled worry, transfigured through, with, and in Christ, is really my loved one's burden of worry and pain which I am helping him/her carry - because we are one in Him, our Lord.
How can I concretely picture all humans' oneness in God? Christian spiritual novelist Elizabeth Goudge pictures our oneness as a vast web in which God purposefully binds us together.....
"For she had discovered that as well as the evil web there was another. This too bound spirits together, but not in a tangle, it was a patterned web and one could see the silver pattern when the sun shone upon it. It seemed much frailer than the dark tangle, that had a hideous strength, but it might not be so always, not in the final reckoning."
What fear can Christ release us from? The fear that we are helpless, useless. The fear that life is only dark and hideous. Released from fear, we can see that life is a vast, purposeful web in which we are bound together, a web lit by God's light. Our prayers are always fruitful, because through them we are united more closely to our loved ones, in their joys and pains. Our prayers are our strong arms, helping to lift their burdens. Our prayers, carrying us deeper into their pain, show us ways that in our daily lives together we can say the words and do the simple things which help them.
"...your God is a Trinity. There are three necessary prayers and they have three words each. They are these, 'Lord have mercy. Thee I adore. Into Thy hands.' Not difficult to remember. If in time of distress, you hold to these, you will do well." (Goudge)
Such prayer brings us Christ's deep peace, and a deeper trust that Christ will carry both we and our loved ones on our life journey to Heaven. We do not know the road. But we know the One Who walks beside us. Knowing Him we can will to believe this:
"All we are asked to bear, we can bear." (Goudge)