Thursday, March 5, 2009

Left to Tell Part II

When I was growing up, my mother had serious back problems and at least once a year would end up spending 6 - 8 weeks lying on her back in a hospital bed with her legs up in traction. I remember her telling me one time that in order to survive lying there for that long without being able to really move, she had found a way to not be able to think of anything. Somehow she would retreat into a "blank spot", if you will, in her mind so as not to be aware of the time passing. This was before my mother was a spiritual person. Had she been spiritual at the time, I think she would have described what she did as something like what follows.

Left To Tell In the book "Left to Tell", Immaculee describes how she hid in a 4 ft. by 3 ft. bathroom with five other women for 91 days. She said that the room was so cramped that they all had to move at the same time in order for one person to stretch their legs. She described how her legs were constantly cramping and her tailbone burned from sitting in a crouched position for endless hours. They were never allowed to even whisper for fear someone in the house might hear them and turn them over to the killers.

I tried to imagine being stuck in the same uncomfortable spot for that long and I just couldn't do it. It seems beyond my ability to stay that still for so long without screaming; add to that the stress of knowing that one sound or bump against the wall could mean the end of my life.

What I found solace in was when Immaculee described that she had a place in her heart that she would retreat to for 15 to 20 hours at a time to talk with God. She described it as "like a little slice of heaven, where my heart spoke to His holy spirit, and His spirit spoke to my heart. He assured me that while I lived in His spirit, I'd never be abandoned, never be alone, and never be harmed."

This part of the book brought me tremendous comfort. It kind of goes along with my thoughts from yesterday: God will not abandon those of His children that remain close to Him, therefore, spend your time now developing a strong relationship with Him. Because Immaculee turned to God in her troubles, which was something she was used to doing, He gave her a supernatural way to deal with the situation she was in. Only through His help would it be possible to endure what she endured. I found great comfort in knowing that God cared so much for her that He took her away from her horrible surroundings and held her close to Him.

This book is full of little lessons like this. If you're looking for a book to help you advance in your spiritual life, as well as keep you riveted to your seat, this is a good one to get!


  1. Laura, How about the part in the book when she said that in some ways she missed that time of captivity because of the hours she was able to spend with our Lord in prayer. Dolores H

  2. this from the library two days ago and it's just about finished! What an amazing story. I can't wait to read the next one. She reminds me of St. John of the Cross who composed his most profound spiritual works and experienced the ectasy of union with God amidst his tortuous imprisonment in a tiny dark cell.