Today I was feeling particularly isolated. So I reached out to a couple of people I had not talked to in a long time, texted a bit, and called and talked to my sister for a bit. I was grateful for the interaction. It just felt good to connect.
I Found God today connecting with others.
Today I learned of the death of a woman who was the head of a pregnancy center in the town I used to live. I had met her a couple of times, particularly in working with the high school youth group. She made quite an impression on me as she was an incredible presence even though she was small in stature. Reading through some of the comments, I realized how much her life impacted probably thousands of others. She not only provided resources, but lovingly prayed for and with those struggling with the choice of abortion, before, during, and after whatever decision they made. She was a champion for unborn babies and their parents. It was clear that her strength and mission came from God and she relied on Him to do her work and live her life. It was inspiring to read some of the messages and stories people shared of her influence.
I Found God today in a beautiful example of a life well lived.
Today was my brother’s birthday. He is living in his trailer with his dog and working in a national park for the summer, so we thought we would send him a care package with things that would be used up. I had fun picking out small items and wrapping them in tissue paper to enhance the surprise. He tried calling Facetime tonight, but unfortunately he wasn’t getting good enough internet service. We talked the old fashioned way on the speaker phone so we could all hear. My brother described everything that he did starting with, “I’m going to get the scissors to open the box.” It almost made it more interesting as I had to imagine what he was doing and try to remember all the things I packed. He said that his dog was very excited and thought there had to be something in there for her too. She is on a strict diet, so I didn’t actually send anything for her – except the always needed poop bags. My brother enjoyed opening all the snacks, drink mixes, paper goods, and homemade cookies. We even sent a small puzzle. He seemed to have fun and we enjoyed the play by play.
I Found God today hearing the enjoyment from my brother on his birthday.
The pandemic has kept my mom’s friend from visiting, but she came over today for the first time in months. They played the pianos together which my mother has really missed. We visited and got take out from our favorite lunch place we used to frequent. When I asked my mom how she found God today, it was not surprising that her answer was in her friend. She said it felt so good to play with her and she had not felt that in too long of a time. She said she already thanked God today for the visit, for her friend, and for the gift of still being able to play the piano. Then she got teary eyed. Needless to say, so did I.
I Found God today in my mother’s gratefulness.
I was surprised today to receive a card in the mail from a friend. It was just a note of encouragement and included a story and scripture about friendship. She wrote, “Just wanted you to know what a blessing you are!” That was an incredible blessing to me.
I Found God today in the blessing of a friend.
Today for Mass, we watched our favorite priest who I used to work for. His words were relevant and powerful as usual – which is why we keep tuning in. The Gospel today was the familiar story of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, feeding over 5000 people. The priest brought out several meaningful points that grabbed my attention. When the disciples saw that it was getting late, they wanted Jesus to send the crowd away so they would be able to get something to eat. Instead, Jesus told them to feed the crowd. He put His disciples in charge. Even though they had seen Jesus perform many miracles, when it was their turn to participate, they panicked. None the less, they obeyed what Jesus prompted them to do and were, in fact, able to feed the multitude. The priest remembered hearing Martin Luther King and John Lewis when he was younger. He was impressed with their courage and boldness. Both men were ordained ministers and followed Christ’s example of peace and non-violence. Even though John Lewis was arrested multiple times and beaten several times as well, he remained vigilant and continued to participate in what God prompted him to do. God could indeed simply fix the wrongs in the world, but that is not what He does. We must participate and do our part, allowing goodness, love, and mercy.
I Found God today in encouragement to continue to participate in God’s plan.
Last year I took an overnight retreat at a monastery located not too far from home tucked away in the woods. When I left, they said I was welcome to come any time to visit or walk the grounds. I had some time to myself today and decided to go there. A few months back I had read that the monastery was closed to visitors due to the pandemic. As I drove in, I figured that was the case since there was nobody around and no cars in the parking lot. There was a big sign that said they were still closed and a smaller sign on the front door, so I went to read it. It said basically the same thing, but in more detail. As I was walking away, one of the ladies came out and asked if she could help me. I explained that I was just looking for a peaceful place and wondering if it was ok to walk around the grounds. She said that was just fine and told me about the various prayer spaces. I was glad to hear that. As I meandered the trails, I was totally alone. It was very peaceful. I remembered where the labyrinth was and made my way over. Before I entered, I decided I would try to clear my mind and simply Be Still. At times the trail was close to the middle and I would think I was almost there. Then it would take me further away. It occurred to me that it corresponded to my life. There are times when I feel very close in my relationship with God – like I may finally “get it”. Then things happen and I find myself further away than I want to be. It also occurred to me that my life is not necessarily about making it or rushing to my next goal – whatever that may be. But it is the journey that matters. How I spend the time along the way is what is important. The experiences I have and the people in my life are all opportunities to further my faith and deepen my love. When I reached the center of the labyrinth, I sat on one of the rock benches and rested. I saw some pine cones, twigs, and such in a little pile in the middle of the circle. I investigated further and saw they were in the shape of a heart. That’s it. That’s the goal. When the journey of my life is over, I pray that I will reach the ultimate, infinite love which is God and be in His rest and peace.
I Found God today walking prayer trails alone in the woods.
A friend from my prayer group has been battling cancer for over a year now. He actually has no more cancer at this point which is amazing. But he has been struggling with the effects of the disease and the treatments. There are times when he is doing great and has even gone to play golf with his sons. And there have been times when he declines. The prayer group received a message from his wife today who was very concerned as he has taken a turn for the worse. The group wanted to come together and pray for him. Not being able to physically be with him and his family, we decided to do a Zoom meeting. We spent most of the 40 minutes just lifting him and his family up in prayer, asking for peace and courage, and being grateful for all that we have learned from him so far. It was wonderful to be together with most of the group and rally behind our ill friend and his family.
I Found God today being able to pray for a friend virtually together.
My mom had appointments with two different specialists today. One was her Parkinson’s doctor and the other was her GI doctor. Both of them said it looks like things are going well and test results – while not perfect – didn’t show any major issues. The end result was the same for both as they told her to keep doing what she is doing and check back in a few months. That was good news to hear. It always makes my mom feel better when the doctors tell her that she is doing well.
I Found God today in favorable doctor’s appointments.
Before my parents started having major health issues, they used to spend about half their time at the cabin and half in the city during the summer. Since I have been with them almost 7 years now, we have made several day trips there and have stayed over a couple of nights now and again. Today we returned from the cabin after having stayed 5 full days. After the activity of packing and driving to a higher altitude, we have realized that it takes a full 24 hours to settle in, and then everyone starts feeling better. Especially during this crazy time, we are so grateful to have this little retreat to escape to. We are grateful for our good neighbors who took care of everything while we were away. Most of all, I am so glad my parents felt good enough to stay for so long and truly enjoy the peace of nature that the cabin has to offer. It does wonders for the soul.
I Found God today being able to enjoy several days of peaceful nature.