Grace Andrews of Independence, MO, USA
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. -Numbers 6:24-26
I parked my car, locked it, and began walking toward the store when suddenly I heard a voice beside me say, “What do you have on?” I thought she must be talking to someone else and kept walking. But she insisted, “What are you wearing?”
I turned and looked at the woman and said hesitantly, “I’m sorry, what do you mean?”
She clarified, “What fragrance are you wearing?” I stumbled around for words and finally came up with the particular fragrance I’d put on that morning, adding, “I didn’t know it was that strong.”
She said, “It’s probably the way the wind is blowing. It’s really nice.” I smiled and thanked her, and we both entered the store together. I never saw her again.
This brief conversation between two strangers took less than a minute. But later it made me pause and think more deeply about the encounter. As I often do first thing in the morning, I repeat our mission prayer: “God, where will your Spirit lead today? Help me be fully awake and ready to respond.” I have to admit, I’m not always prepared. How wonderful it would be if rather than my scent, my countenance might reflect Christ (even without the wind blowing) so that someone might feel so drawn to me to say, “What is it you are wearing? What causes you to look so peaceful?” Would I be ready to respond, “It is my Lord and Savior. I pray that God will bless you today.”
In our daily walk, we never know who we might meet unexpectedly and be able to lift up, even for a moment. My mother used to say to me, “The last thing you need to put on before going out in the morning is your smile. No one likes a frowner.” And so I say, “God, grant me courage to risk something new and become a blessing of your love and peace.”
“… 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.