Q… Quiet, Outside and Inside

Be still, and know that I am God…
From Psalm 46:10

Q is for Quiet. A few years ago, when I made my first attempt at meditating my way through the alphabet, I felt very good about my progress until I approached the letter Q. I wondered what I could possible come up with. When I voiced this concern to my friend, a light bulb immediately appeared over her head. “Quiet,” she almost whispered. “You know… quiet.” With that, I hugged Carol and thanked her for the inspiration. Q is for Quiet… Of course! Today, I will revisit her wisdom because I still need to work on creating and using quiet productively.

I’m a master at creating a quiet environment. When I’m home alone, the television is off and other noisy distractions are scarce. Still, this isn’t the quiet which Carol suggested. Carol nudged me toward the internal quiet where we encounter God deep within ourselves. This is the quiet that often comes in unexpected places at unexpected times. I find this inner quiet most often when I venture outdoors. When freezing temperatures keep me indoors, I look elsewhere. I’ve found this inner quiet here at home and in both a full and empty church. I’ve also found it at the mall. There is something about the faces I pass and the interactions between parents and children, spouses and groups of teens which reveal the Almighty to me. During these encounters, I don’t pray a word because these quiet revelations speak to me.

So it is that I learn to quiet my innards because it is in that quiet stillness that I come to know God.

Dear God, thank you for filling my quiet place with your loving presence.

©2017 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

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A Child’s Gift of Hope

The wolf shall be the guest of the lamb
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
the calf and the young lion shall browse together,
with a little child to lead them.

Isaiah 11:6

My granddaughter’s smile drew me in before I realized what the little imp had done. My gloomy attitude, aching sinuses and complete disappointment with so many things in this world meant nothing to the little girl who nuzzled next to me. As Claire eyed my uncommonly troubled eyes, she looked to see if I was watching. Then, ever so carefully, she touched the tips of my fingers. I smiled as I considered her bravery in approaching me. With that, my headache eased and I invited Claire to sit closer. She immediately nestled nearer.

In and effort not to disturb my newly found comfort, I asked Grandpa to hand me one of the photo albums on our coffee table. He aptly selected the album which features Claire as a baby. After revisiting Baby Claire’s life, we chose the newest album which features Claire’s new cousin Daniel. Claire shared her observations of Daniel’s progress and her predictions regarding Daniel’s future. As I listened, I wondered why I had wasted so much of this day attending to my headache and my worry. Claire made it obvious that the world is in good hands. Come to think of it, a little child made the same observation two millenniums ago when he was born in that stable in Bethlehem. There is always hope!

Dear God, as I continue my journey to Christmas, keep me mindful of the gifts to be found in the people you have given me to love, especially the children who keep our hope alive.

©2015 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved