Otto Benoit of Papeete, French Polynesia
Deceit is in the mind of those who plan evil, but those who counsel peace have joy. -Proverbs 12:20
In Polynesia the tradition of “fa’a’amu,” which means “feeding” or “giving to eat,” allows families who cannot assure their child’s future to entrust it to a third person.
I am a fa’a’amu child who was entrusted to my grandparents. Thanks to this tradition, my grandmother became my mother. I read somewhere that being a mother is a very important mission the Lord entrusts to many women. Grandma is not so different from other mothers. She passed on to me her story, her values, her unfailing love, and especially her love for Christ. Her dedication to me reveals that the tradition of fa’a’amu is a gift, a gift of life and a true gift of God.
Grandma, who cannot give birth, has been blessed through every child she has nurtured and raised. If God had not intervened, our lives would have been different. The Lord understood that Grandma was the mother I needed; God entrusted me to the only woman who could bring me closer to Him. Very early, Grandma taught me that Jesus reveals the face of God. At the age of 82, she continues to reveal to me the love of Christ through her gestures of tenderness, affectionate words, and her motherly, nurturing glance.
I realize that my whole life would not be enough to express my gratitude. To learn to know God is the most beautiful proof of love. Every element of life, from the largest to the smallest, from the simplest to the most complex, reveals God’s love and shapes us to God’s image.
Do you see that? Do you feel it? Do you hear it?
“… the breath of the Almighty gives me life” (Job 33:4).
Breathing God’s Compassion
Pay attention to your breathing and let it become calmer and deeper as you focus on God’s presence. Ask God to breathe in you. Imagine each breath carrying the light of God into your lungs, bloodstream, and every cell in your body until God’s Spirit fills you. Now imagine breathing out God’s compassion and grace each time you exhale, especially into places and situations in need of loving care. Give thanks to the Spirit, source of every breath, source of life.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.