Peace… Bring It Everywhere

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

As I continue my Advent journey, it occurs to me that I long for the same things that the people of Jesus’ time so desperately desired. I long for a world driven by a desire for peace, rather than the desire for power. I long for understanding among nations and within nations, among people and within the relationships which are most important to us. I long for good will, the kind the angels wished us on that first Christmas night. I long for a cure for the diseases which ravage our bodies. I long for a cure for the maladies which trouble our souls. Yes, I long for peace.

I’m distracted from this writing by rays of sunshine peering through my window. Then again, perhaps I’m not distracted. Perhaps I’m being called. Those rays warm the tall spruce in our yard and I realize that I’m not alone in my longing. Just as that tree outside my window stands dormant until spring returns with the stuff of new life, we do the same. Unlike that tree, however, none of us needs to lie dormant. There is always something we can do in the moment at hand to improve this life for others and for ourselves.

So it is that I renew my resolve to take every opportunity to find God’s presence in my circumstances and in the people God has given me to love. Because I truly long for peace on earth, I will do my part to create peace one moment at a time.

Loving God, thank you for being with me in everything, especially in my resolve to make this world a better place for us all.

©2019 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

A Little Child Leads Us…

…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 little grandson’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 boy who nuzzled in my arms. As Benjamin smiled in spite of my uncommonly troubled eyes, he seemed to look to look far past them into my very soul. At the same time, he ever so carefully wrapped his tiny fist around my finger. I smiled as I considered how masterfully Ben had accomplished his goal. With that, my headache eased and I pulled Ben a bit closer. This sweet child immediately responded in kind.

In and effort not to disturb Ben’s and my newly found comfort, I asked Grandpa to bring me Ben’s blanket. Ben drifted off to sleep, Grandpa headed outdoors to tend to a chore and I drifted into grateful conversation with our Benevolent Creator. As I spoke, I acknowledged that I’d wasted too much of this particular day attending to my headache and to my worry. Ben had made it obvious that the world was in even better hands than he was and that I needed to appreciate this. With that, it occurred to me -or did God remind me?- that a little child made the same observation two millenniums ago when he was born in that stable in Bethlehem. Indeed, there is always reason to be grateful!

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.

©2018 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Always Reason To Hope

…the calf and the young lion shall browse together,
with a little child to lead them.

From Isaiah 11:6

My grandson’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 boy who nuzzled next to me. As Danny eyed my uncommonly troubled eyes, he looked to see if I was watching. Then, ever so carefully, he touched the tips of my fingers. I smiled as I considered his bravery in approaching me. With that, my headache eased and I invited Danny to sit closer. He immediately nestled nearer.

In an effort not to disturb our comfortable cuddle, I stretched for my phone. Danny looked up and asked, “Pictures?” I couldn’t help smiling at the obvious. “Yes, pictures,” I replied. With that, we revisited recent history in Danny’s life. My photos and short videos include trips to the park and family parties. They also chronicle Danny at play. As Danny chattered on about his own antics and those of his cousins and the rest of us, I listened attentively. It occurred to me that I had wasted too much of this day attending to my headache and my worry. Danny made it obvious that the world is in good hands. Come to think of it, another little child made the same observation two millenniums ago when he was born in that stable in Bethlehem. Yes, there is always hope!

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

©2017 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Bring Peace to The Moment at Hand

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

As I continue my Advent journey, it occurs to me that I long for the same things that the people of Jesus time so desperately desired. I long for a world driven by a desire for peace, rather than the desire for power. I long for understanding among nations and within nations, among people and within the relationships which are most important to us. I long for good will, the kind the angels wished us on that first Christmas night. I long for a cure for diseases which ravage our bodies. I long for a cure for the maladies which trouble our souls. Yes, I long for peace.

I’m distracted from this writing by rays of sunshine outside my window. Perhaps I’m not distracted. Perhaps I’m being called. Those rays warm the tall spruce in our yard and I realize that I’m not alone in my longing. Just as that tree outside my window stands dormant until spring returns with the stuff of new life, we do the same. Unlike that tree,however, none of us needs to lie dormant. There is always something we can do in the moment at hand to improve this life for others and for ourselves.

So it is that I renew my resolve to take every opportunity to find God’s presence in my circumstances and in the people God has given me to love. Because I truly long for peace on earth, I will do my part to create peace one moment at a time.

Loving God, thank you for being with me in everything, especially in my resolve to make this world a better place for us all.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

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

My Longing

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.

From Isaiah 11:1-10

Recent events urge my prayer today. I long for a world that is driven by a desire for peace, rather than the desire for power. I long for understanding among nations, among people and within the relationships which are most important to us. I long for good will, the kind the angels wished us on that first Christmas night. I long for a cure for the diseases which ravage our bodies. I long for a cure for the infirmities which ravage our psyches. I long for a cure for the deep dark maladies which trouble our souls. I truly long for the topsy-turvy images Isaiah offers in the passage above.

Though I intend to reread Isaiah’s promises, rays of sunshine draw my eyes away. They beckon toward the tall spruce which waves beyond my window. The bits of snow adorning its branches hint at the splendor of Christmas. I realize that I am not alone in my longing. Jesus came to live among us because God longs for the same. In all he said and did, Jesus worked to turn the ways of this world upside down one soul at a time. Jesus revealed God’s ways to all who would look his way. In the end, the world’s powerful may not have recognized Jesus’ efforts, but the rest of us did. We still do.

As my prayers continue in full earnest, I know that my efforts must continue in full earnest as well. This Advent, and always, I must take every opportunity to find God’s presence in my circumstances and in the people God has given me to love. If I hope to see this world turned beautifully and lovingly topsy-turvy, I must do my part one moment at a time.

Loving God, thank you for being with me in everything, in my disappointments and in my resolve to make this world and this life better for us all.

©2014 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved