So ends a week in Padova. I power down the computer and wander home alone. I’m lost in thoughts of the work I’ve been doing, what needs to be done next. I walk to Santa Sofia church, the nearest to where I am staying. I think I’ll have a look inside, then rest there awhile, reflect, before the weekend.

sspadovaI sit at the back. There is an Italian evening service taking place towards the front.  I sit and let go of my belongings. Let my body rest its weight on the pew. My eyes centre on the cross – on Jesus on the cross – at the front of the church, suspended over the altar.

I don’t understand the service.  But there is calm here. The light is soft, and it’s still. My mind stills. Stills and centres on the Cross. Christ’s wounds. I catch sight of my wounds, not quite hidden by my sleeves. I recite Psalm 91 – my redux of Psalm 91. I want Christ close to me. In the stillness, eyes closed, as unfamiliar words of worship fill the church, I sense Him there. Feel Perfect Peace.

I  breathe more slowly. As I breathe, I break down. I break down into silent tears. I cry in the knowledge of Christ’s love for me. The knowledge that no matter how much I hate myself (and words will not do justice to that) He loves me and welcomes me, when I turn to Him. The knowledge of all that He has done for me. That He goes on doing for me. Even in the past few days, the people He has put around me, words of encouragement that have been sent to me, generosity of opportunity bestowed upon me. In spite of all my badness, *Christ wants me*.  I am overwhelmed by Love. I am blessed beyond measure.

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