(This is the final entry in Laura Lynn Brown’s summer blogging project at MakesYouMom.com.)
On April 8 our church welcomed a one-woman performance of “St. Thérèse: The Story of a Soul.” If it comes to your town, go! I knew vaguely who Thérèse of Lisieux was, and I’d read some of her autobiography years ago. I decided to reread it after the show. It has been life-changing.
FYI, Thérèse was canonized (declared a saint) five years after Joan of Arc and the two women are co-patron saints of France. Thérèse is one of only four female doctors of the Catholic church, meaning her writing matters. She died at the age of 24, and the main reason we know about her is because of her autobiography, “The Story of a Soul.”
Thérèse was not who I thought she was. She was tougher. Wiser. Troubling at times. She trusted her Lord as most clearly revealed in the Child Jesus in ways I’d never heard.
Here’s an example. She imagined that the Child Jesus might play with her as he would a toy ball, and if he wanted to play with her for a while and then leave her on the ground, she didn’t mind.
“The beautiful feast of Christmas dawned; still Jesus slept. He left His little ball on the ground without even glancing that way.”
Here’s another of her favorite images: Jesus asleep in the boat. Do you remember that story from Mark 4? It’s always bothered me, just as it bothered the disciples who lived through it. Thérèse loved the story.
“Jesus, as was his wont, slept in my little barque.”
She could trust, knowing Jesus was with her, albeit asleep.
When’s the last time you heard that one preached? “Hallelujah! Jesus is asleep! Have no fear!”
And yet, reading her words has had exactly this effect on me. I don’t need to strive. I can trust. He’s here. He’s asleep. He doesn’t even need to glance my way.