God Gets It!

Trust in God at all times, O my people!
Poor out your hearts before God;
God is our refuge!

Psalm 62:9

During a FaceTime call with our granddaughters, I experienced a bit of deja vu. Our eldest granddaughter happily shared a recap of the time she and her family had spent outdoors on a perfectly beautiful day. Though the girls continue to social distance from their friends, they’ve done a great job of enjoying playtime with one another. When Ellie described navigating her scooter around their cul-de-sac, I asked her to explain the process. With that, Ellie shared the finer aspects of scooter navigation. As Ellie continued, I couldn’t help recalling our sons at her age exhibiting the same exhilaration over new bits of knowledge or new talents they’d acquired. Like my Ellie, Mike and Tim soaked up all things new like a sponge. As I did with Ellie, I listened when they shared their accomplishments with me.

When such treasures are shared, especially by the children in my life, I give my full attention to the speaker. There is nothing more encouraging and comforting than being listened to and understood. As I write, it occurs to me that God does the same for you and me. Whether or not we are gifted with the attention and understanding of those around us, God listens and understands our meaning even better than we understand it ourselves. In my joy and in my sorrow, in my puzzlement and in my certainty, I find that there is nothing more encouraging and comforting than being heard and understood by God.

Dear God, thank you for always understanding my meaning. Help me to do the same as best I can for those you have given me to love.

©2020 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

X… X-Ray!

My heart quakes within me;
terror has fallen upon me.

From Psalm 55:5

X is for X-ray, X-ray Vision to be precise! Sometimes, we need x-ray vision to get to the bottom of things.

I’ll never forget this particular meeting of a college theology class. Though we dealt more with dogma than with faith experiences, a distraught classmate couldn’t help seeking guidance from our “God-centered” gathering. When the professor allowed this student to elaborate, he observed that his dilemma resembled what John of the Cross termed a dark night of the soul. As the discussion continued, the entire class became involved. We agreed that our classmate was indeed likely immersed in the closest thing to a dark night of the soul that any of us had ever seen. We and our professor also agreed that our support at the moment was far more important than attending to the course syllabus that day.

You know, there are many suffering souls nearby. Unfortunately, the rest of us remain unaware because we don’t have the time or the wherewithal to take a closer look. We can’t peek into the hearts of strangers who wait in line with us at the market or the hearts of our own family members or friends. Because we can’t x-ray one another’s souls, we miss a lot. This is where my professor’s example comes into play. First, we need to be approachable. Replacing a cranky scowl with a smile goes a long way. Second, we need to set aside our own agendas. Problems don’t arise in accordance with anyone’s syllabus. They just happen. Finally, we need to listen. When we get to this point, we leave the response to God. God will give us the words to help. After all, God sees what lies deep within us all more clearly than x-ray vision ever will.

Compassionate God, help us to see one another and to respond to one another with your loving eyes.

©2019 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

God Gets Us

Trust in God at all times, O my people!
Poor out your hearts before God;
God is our refuge!

Psalm 62:9

During a recent visit with our grandchildren, I experienced a bit of deja vu. Our eldest grandchild happily entertained us by navigating her scooter around her cul-de-sac. When she flew by with one leg outstretched behind her, I gasped with awe. When she returned to the driveway, I asked Ellie how she managed to do that. After carefully explaining the process, Ellie asked if I’d like to try. Fortunately, my dear husband rescued me by asking if he could test drive that scooter. While Grandpa sped down the street, Ellie continued to explain the finer aspects of scooter navigation. As this serious nine-year-old continued to explain, I recalled my sons at that age exhibiting the same exhilaration over new bits of knowledge or new talents they’d acquired. Like my granddaughter, they soaked up everything new like a sponge.

When such treasures are shared, especially by the children in my life, I give my full attention to the speaker. There is nothing more encouraging and comforting than being listened to and understood. As I write, it occurs to me that God does the same for you and me. Whether or not we are gifted with the attention and understanding of those around us, God listens and understands our meaning even better than we understand it ourselves. In my joys and in my sorrows, I find that there is nothing more encouraging and comforting than being heard and understood by God.

Dear God, thank you for always understanding my meaning. Help me to do the same as best I can for those you have given me to love.

©2017 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved