When Joyce Bruecker looks at a person, she never notices their eyeglasses, she said. The eyes hold the true essence of any person – even if the eyes belong to the blessed Father and his Son
Throughout Joyce’s life, God has always been a strong presence. She grew up in a large, faith-filled family, attended Catholic grade school and high school and even prayed novenas to the patron saint, St. Anne, with her future husband Pete for 4 1/2 years to keep them pure for marriage.
In 1969, Joyce decided to participate in a 3-day Cursillo, a short but intense immersion course in Christianity. It forever changed her life.
During a time of prayer at the Cursillo, Joyce picked up a small metal crucifix and experienced the presence of God as though he stood before her.
“There he was, but I didn’t see the person. I saw the eyes and they could see right through me into my heart,” she said. “I experienced the presence of God as though he stood before me. I ‘saw’ the loving face of the Father and then the face of Jesus; one superimposed upon the other. Rays of love permeated from them and completely engulfed me. …I was on fire.”
Since that moment, Joyce said her mantra has been “I just want to be with you.”
From the diagnosis of a malignant tumor near her brain skillfully removed by a surgeon who said it felt like someone was holding his hand and guiding the scalpel exactly where it needed to go, to the love and loss of not one but two husbands, God has held Joyce in the palm of his hand.
“God is there,” she said. “I trust in him. Whatever happens, he is in charge and he loves me.”