Healing… Always A Possibility!

“Those who are healthy do not need a physician,
but the sick do.”

Luke 5:31

The other day, my husband returned home as our most recent snowfall ended. He had a quick lunch and then headed outdoors. He’d had a rough time the day before as he’d presided at the funeral of a good man whose death came unexpectedly. In an effort to be helpful and perhaps ease his pain a bit, I pulled on my coat and boots and followed him. Mike started the snowblower while I grabbed my trusty shovel. Though the snowblower’s roar prevented any conversation between us, we were together. When the job was finished, Mike was feeling much better and so was I. Healing came as unexpectedly as the loss of our friend had.

You know, the same can occur wherever we find ourselves with another of God’s kids. We have partners, family and friends, neighbors, work colleagues and classmates at school. We belong to faith communities, social clubs, service organizations and sports teams. We also enjoy our friendships with God: Just God and you; just God and me. It seems to me that it is our relationships with God which fuel our efforts to bring healing to those we’ve been given to love.

It’s reasonably easy to bring healing to my husband. After decades together, I can read him and respond accordingly. This isn’t necessarily the case with others. Still, we can pull on our coats and grab our shovels to help a fellow soul to clear the path ahead. After all, healing may be unexpected, but it’s always a possibility!

Dear God, help us to be generous with our love and to share that love with those who need it most.

©2019 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

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Good God!

She had heard about Jesus and came up behind
him in the crowd and put her hand on his cloak.

Mark 5:27

A recent chance encounter revealed a shared experience of God’s presence in our lives. I discovered that my great-aunt Sister Gerard had taught this person many years ago. I knew that, above all else, Sister Gerard believed that God is good. My new friend had learned the same thing in Sister Gerard’s classroom. Sister Gerard first spoke this phrase to me more than five decades ago. My great-aunt was a dynamic and lively little nun! After spending much of her career teaching at a boarding school for boys, Sister Gerard shared, “I’ve taught convicts and bishops, lawyers, janitors and butchers and I love them all. God put them all into my life. God is good!” I listened happily as she shared stories about her teaching career and life among the sisters.

Eventually, bouts with cancer mandated her assignment to the sisters’ mother house. This kept her close to the hospital where she received treatment. Sister Gerard busied herself with visiting the elderly sisters, of whom she was one, during their hospitalizations. Through it all, Sister Gerard maintained her conviction regarding God.

At age ninety-two, Sister Gerard discovered that her final bout was a losing battle. She smiled at me from her sickbed as she admitted, “I was a little upset that God didn’t cure me this time around. Then, I thought about where I’m going and I thanked him! God is so good!” When my sweet aunt passed away, I imagined her dancing as she announced to all of heaven, “God is good!”

Good God, thank you Sister Gerard and all of the amazing people who share your goodness with the rest of us.

©2018 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

God’s Soothing Love

I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.

Psalm 34:5

Loss is tough. Loss occurs in relationships cut short by a misunderstanding or a move. Loss comes in the passing of our loved ones. Loss comes with divorce, even when this choice is mutual. The loss of a familiar workplace or neighborhood is unsettling at best. When we find ourselves at odds with an institution which once felt as comfortable as home, we find ourselves at a loss as well. Feelings of abandonment and loneliness, hopelessness and solitude consume us in the midst of our losses, and it seems no one and nothing can fill the emptiness within us.

I’m most grateful to acknowledge that when we face loss of any sort, we never face it alone. Rather, we find ourselves embraced in sacred moments of sharing. Sometimes, they come in human form through the voice of a knowing friend; in the song of a mother who will love her child forever; in an artist’s rendition of our weakest selves embraced by God’s all-loving arms; in the kindness of a colleague who takes over simply because she is needed; in the parents and grandparents, spouses and significant others, sisters, brothers and friends who teach us to hold onto one another in the best and worst of times. Sometimes, these sacred moments come in the reassurance we find in the depths of our own hearts. Always, God sees to it that we don’t experience loss alone. Always, God is with us to offer healing love.

Loving God, thank you for being with us in everything!

©2017 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Healing Love

“Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.”
Luke 5:31

Much of the time, I find it easy enough to do the right thing. It might be a perfect day. I may be full of energy. Unexpected good news may have brightened my horizons. Perhaps I stepped onto the scale and discovered that I finally shed those stubborn pounds that simply would not let go. I am at my best on such days, and I meet the challenges that lie ahead accordingly. Still, there are occasions when it is a challenge to open my eyes, much less to greet the new day with a smile. On those days, I am tempted to ignore the ringing telephone, avoid email at all costs and to erase everything on my calendar.

While I am in the midst of this dysfunctional state, it occurs to me that some people live their entire lives this way. Some people who seem to have great lives fight depression twenty-four/seven. Some people who seem to have all of the money in the world cannot afford the time to enjoy life and the people they have been given to love. Some people who seem to have it all have managed to lose themselves in the process of acquiring those things. Before contemplating further, I whisper a prayer of petition for those caught in difficult lives and a prayer of thanksgiving for my own.

Patient God, I am blessed with a very good life and no day is truly a bad day. Help me to remember this every morning, to live accordingly with love and to share that love with those who need it most.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

God’s Healing Love

“Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.
I have not come to call the righteous to repentance, but sinners.”
From Luke 5:27-32

Much of the time, I find it easy enough to do the right thing. It might be a perfect day. I may be full of energy. Unexpected good news may have brightened my horizons. Perhaps I stepped onto the scale and discovered that I finally shed those stubborn pounds that simply would not let go. I am at my best on such days, and I meet the challenges that lie ahead accordingly. Still, there are occasions when it is a challenge to open my eyes, much less to greet the new day with a smile. On those days, I am tempted to ignore the ringing telephone, to avoid email at all costs and to erase everything on my calendar.

While I am in the midst of this dysfunctional state, it occurs to me that some people live their entire lives this way. Some people who seem to have great lives fight depression twenty-four/seven. Some people who seem to have all of the money in the world cannot afford the time to enjoy life and the people they have been given to love. Some people who seem to have it all have managed to lose themselves in the process of acquiring those things. Before contemplating further, I whisper a prayer of petition for those caught in difficult lives and a prayer of thanksgiving for my life.

Dear Lord, the circumstances of my life offer continued opportunities for me to enjoy your presence. Help me to celebrate your presence with those who recognize that you are among us, and help me to bring your presence to those who cannot see you. Help me to heal as you would.

©2014 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved