Rain Love

This, remember, is the message you heard from the beginning:
we should love one another.

1 John 3:11

A storm is brewing just beyond my window. I’m still reeling over the abundance of rain which flooded parts of our neighborhood a few weeks ago. Though our local television meteorologist offers encouragement with a promise that sunshine will return tomorrow, she fails to dispel the gray which lurks beyond my window today.

It occurs to me that my knowledge of human nature fails me as much as my understanding of weather patterns on occasion. I sometimes ignore this wisdom and “push buttons” that would best be left alone. Though I know well what will come next if I attempt to have the last word, I speak in spite of myself. When the thunder in my adversary threatens, I push when I should let go. I forget to let love take care.

Today, as the rain continues, I will continue in my own effort to dispel the gray clouds from my attitude and to let the sun shine in.

Dear God, though the weather is very much out of my control, my attitudes and actions are my own. Help me to use them both with love and good will.

©2017 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

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The “God” Side of Things

With me at your right hand,
you will not be shaken.

Psalm 16:8

My husband lifted his foot and rested it on the ottoman before him. “This really hurts,” he said. Then he quickly added, “But if this is the worst that happens today, I’m a lucky man.”

Our life together hasn’t been trauma free. Still, my husband and I try to look at the brighter side of things when tragedy touches us. I was blessed with this mindset early on. My husband was not. It took years of nurturing his own faith as best he could for him to develop his positive stance toward life’s negatives. Though this transformation occasionally reverts to a work in progress, I admire my husband’s persistence.

You know, God has encouraged us from the beginning. When humankind failed to see the better side of things, God sent the prophets and then Jesus of Nazareth to get our attention. Who but one from God could have conceived of the prodigal son’s forgiving father and the Good Shepherd who would lay down his life for even one of his sheep? Who but one from God could have lived love, compassion, mercy and forgiveness with such perfection? Yet, in spite of his goodness, tragedy touched Jesus’ life as well.

It seems to me that the moral of the story is this: Because we are not yet in heaven, this life will never be perfect. Still, God loves us and remains with us through it all. This is all we need to know.

Loving God, thank you for your ongoing presence within me.

Blessed!

Bless the Lord, O my soul;
and forget not all his benefits.

Psalm 103:2

It was a dreary Monday. As my husband backed the car out of the garage, large drops of rain assaulted our windshield. “I thought it wasn’t going to rain any more,” I grumbled. “It’s not supposed to,” Mike added, “but it is.” When we arrived at our destination, the rain had stopped. I looked upward and whispered, “Thank you!” Much to my surprise, this errand took only ten minutes. When we returned to the outdoors, I discovered that the dark gray clouds above were keeping their rain to themselves. “Wow!” I said aloud. Once again, I looked up and whispered, “Thank you!”

Later, I decided to run another errand. I headed to the bank with change which our parish children had collected for the poor. The gray sky continued to offer no further precipitation as I carted in containers filled with change. All was well until the coin machine sputtered and then stopped. After twenty-minutes of cleaning and adjusting, the teller decided they’d need a service call. He redeemed my receipt for the change taken, I thanked him for his effort and headed to a second bank. Much to my surprise, the same thing happened. When the teller assured me that this coin machine simply needed servicing, I laughed aloud. When I explained what had happened earlier, the young man couldn’t resist chuckling with me. With that, I carried those heavy containers back to my car for another day. Once again, there was no rain and I repeated my thanks.

When I sat to begin this writing, gentle tapping drew my eyes to the window. Those gray clouds had given way and rain began to fall. How could I not thank God for this oddly satisfying morning?

Creator God, thank you for giving us hearts which recognize your blessings in all their forms.

©2017 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

P… Peace, Outside and Within Us

strong>Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.

Psalm 85:11

P is for Peace. Of all of my heart’s desires, I long for and relish peace most of all. The truth is that during the most difficult times of my life, I’ve been at least faintly aware of a measure of peace deep within me. In spite of the troubles at hand, I’m consistently convinced at some level that circumstances will evolve for the best. While I invest my blood, sweat, tears and prayer into the given situation, peace eases its way to the surface. Eventually, I accept that I can only do what I can do and I leave the rest to God. Letting go is an extremely difficult, but liberating exercise. When I empty myself of my worry and angst, I make room for God’s peace to enter in.

Though I may have to wait for heaven to enjoy true peace, I can infuse a morsel of peace into every moment I’m given. Perhaps my efforts should include a deep breath before allowing less-than-peaceful sentiments to flow from my lips. Perhaps these efforts should include a glance upward and a glance within before I take the gloom and doom around me to heart. Perhaps I need to begin each day with a prayer that God’s peace surfaces within me before I allow anything else to erupt. Perhaps I can actually bring peace to this world after all.

Compassionate God, help us to set aside our worries and to focus upon your peaceful presence as we embrace all that lies ahead.

©2017 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved