Goodness Finders

Now I have seen for myself and have testified,
“This is God’s chosen One.”

John 1:34

My husband and I recently attended an out-of-town wedding. The groom is the son of dear friends and we were happy to make the effort to celebrate with them. The better part of this is that many of the couple’s friends did the same. As a result, we enjoyed a long weekend in very good company. One of the couple’s who attended was Ellen and Ross. As I watched them dance at the wedding reception, I couldn’t help recalling the evening I first met Ross…

We were hosting our annual Christmas Party and our children and granddaughters were in attendance. This was the first time the girls met Ellen, a young woman whom I’ve known since she was a child. I love Ellen and my granddaughters immediately followed suit. That evening, Ellen brought along her boyfriend whom most of us were meeting for the first time. I couldn’t help liking Ross from the moment he offered his greeting and that sweet smile. I didn’t have the opportunity to confirm my first impression because I didn’t see much of Ross for the rest of the evening. My granddaughters managed to monopolize the poor man for most of the duration of the party. When my granddaughters told me how cool and wonderful and funny Ross is, what more did I need to know? I knew that Ross and Ellen had chosen one another wisely.

A very wise teacher once told me that if I ever wanted to know whether or not a person was a good soul simply to watch the way children react to him or her. Children somehow instinctively know who does and who does not have their best interest at heart. As I watched Ellen and Ross enjoy one another at that wedding, I knew my teacher and my granddaughters were absolutely right!

Loving God, thank you for the children among us who detect goodness with such precision and thank you for the wonderful people who bring that goodness to life.

©2017 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Goodness Personified

Now I have seen for myself and have testified,
“This is God’s chosen One.”

John 1:34

A very wise teacher once told me that if I ever wanted to know whether or not a person was a good soul simply to watch the way children react to him or her. Though I was not necessarily convinced of Sister Imelda’s wisdom at the time, three decades of working with children and my own parenting experience have supported her assertion. Children somehow instinctively seem to know who does and who does not have their best interest at heart. A chance meeting underscored Sister’s assertion.

Some time ago, my granddaughters met Ellen, a young woman whom I have known since she was a child. We were hosting a gathering which included family and friends. I love Ellen and my granddaughters immediately followed suit. That evening, Ellen had brought along her boyfriend whom most of us met for the first time. I couldn’t help liking Ross from the moment he offered his greeting and that sweet smile. I didn’t have the opportunity to confirm my first impression because I didn’t see much of Ross for the rest of the evening. My granddaughters managed to monopolize the poor man for most of the duration of the party. When my granddaughters told me how cool and wonderful and funny Ross is, what more did I need to know? I knew that Ross and Ellen had chosen one another wisely.

Loving God, thank you for the children among us who detect your goodness with such precision.

©2015 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Live Gratefully

Let all your works give you thanks, O Lord,
and let your faithful ones bless you.

Psalm 145:11

Perhaps Thanksgiving Week makes me feel this way… As soon as I established my pace for this morning’s walk, feelings of gratitude overwhelmed me. I admit that I am a creature of habit who walks the same route every single time I venture out. Still, the blue sky and the changes in trees which I have seen a hundred times fill me with awe. Every day the barren trees reveal gnarly knots which I failed to notice before. Chirping birds who should be making their way south are the frosting on the cake. Even drizzling rain gives me reason to feel grateful.

Perhaps I am an unwitting student of Creation’s wisdom during my treks outdoors. Perhaps the clouded blue sky that beckons my eyes toward heaven and the trees who continuously raise their arms upward are reminding me to do the same. Their very existence points to God’s glory. Perhaps my existence on this earth is meant to point to point to God’s wonder as well. Like Nature around me, perhaps I am meant to do this with a spirit of gratitude. After all, being a part of God’s creation is a privilege and honor and something for which we can all be grateful.

Generous God, help me to live with a grateful heart. When I appreciate what I have, it is easy to share my gifts with others. Help me to do so as generously as the outdoors with which you bless me so abundantly.

©2014 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved