Twelve + One Miracles!

Out of the depths, we dance before you, O Lord,
because, Lord, you heard our voices and you stayed with us.
You gave us the wisdom to persist and to think and to pray until we got it right.
And, Lord, we did!

A joyous and grateful rewrite of Psalm 130

I went to bed Monday night with a prayer on my lips. Though I normally fall asleep quickly, that night, I lay wide-eyed as I began. After acknowledging that God has placed the welfare of this planet and of each one of us in our hands, I also acknowledged that God remains with us in everything. I dared to go on. I pointed out that I would never stand by in the midst of a tragedy and do nothing. I also pointed out that it is God who instilled this propensity to help within me. With that, I added the obvious…

“Dear God, I know you feel the same way. Please breathe enough know-how and stamina and courage into those divers to make their way to the remaining four soccer kids and their coach. Then, please give the same to those kids and that coach so they can all emerge from that cave alive and well.”

I normally don’t hear responses when I pray and Monday night was no exception. However, for unknown reasons, I fell asleep contemplating just how proud God must have been of all who were participating in this rescue. Seven countries assisted the Thais in these efforts. The Thai people stood by as so many did around the world offering ongoing prayers for all concerned.

This morning, I woke to the news that the recovery was complete. I looked upward through tears of joy to whisper my thanks that all twelve soccer kids and their coach were rescued. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. We can accomplish the amazing and, yes, the miraculous, when we work together for good.

God of Love, thank you for fashioning us with such remarkable abilities. Be with us as we try to emulate that rescue team’s good will at every opportunity.

©2018 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

My Soul’s Landscape

From that desert, the whole Israelite
community journeyed in stages as the
Lord directed…
From Exodus 17:1

One of Israel’s remarkable characteristics is its varied landscape. Because I’m accustomed to the promise of spring buds, summer’s lush greenery, autumn’s array of color and winter’s icy white, I was most taken by Israel’s deserts. The arid countryside offers miniature versions of our Grand Canyon, rocky mesas and small mountains. Each of these boasts barely visible natural caves and crevices. To some, they appear to be dark and frightening dens of the unknown. To a desert-dweller, these sometimes tiny niches in the rocky expanse provide life-giving shelter at the peak of a day’s heat.

Another of the desert’s life-giving gifts is the smattering of thorny bushes and brownish-green grasses which appear out of nowhere in every direction. As we drove through a particularly rocky area, I noticed a lone ibex nestled on an extremely narrow crag. When I spotted the tufts of green dangling from its mouth, I understood the ibex’s bravery in selecting this precarious nook. This much-needed lunch was well worth the effort!

As we drove on, I considered the goodness I’d found in what I thought to be barren and lifeless landscape. It reminded me of myself on occasion. Though I should know better, I allow uncontrollable situations to drain the life out of me. Though I work hard to improve things, I see no progress. Then, in the midst of my misery, someone thanks me for something which I hardly recall doing. Another person compliments the reflection I posted a few weeks back. Someone else responds to my cheerful greeting because he needed to smile that day. I receive a thank you note and a pat on the back for what I considered trivial deeds.

I’ve discovered that, even when we think we’re no more fruitful than the most barren of deserts, God draws goodness from us.

Ever-loving God, thank you for drawing goodness from me, even when I dwell in the desert.

©2018 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved