Grace Leads the Way
By Karen Anne Smith of Ludington, MI, USA
But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant. “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read,” ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise'” -Matthew 21:15-16 NRSV
Happy tears washed my eyes this morning. Usually I have to use eye drops, but not today. I was thinking about my visit with Alex. He got a little agitated once, but mostly it was all hugs, smiles, and eye contact. Eye contact is difficult for a young man with autism. When Alex makes and sustains eye contact, I know that he is really “zoned in” and thinking. He is truly with me in those moments.
Yesterday he wanted to cuddle with mom and wouldn’t let me leave-all smiles as I sat with him. At the end I sang him his favorite song; then I was moved to pray a second time-this time from the deepest depths of my heart. It was a prayer of blessing and thanksgiving. Alex was then satisfied and pushed me to the door-his way of saying, “Visit’s over. Goodbye, Mom.”
Before this happened, I was telling Alex how much I love him and always will, even after I’m gone. I was telling him how proud I am of him, which made him smile big. I asked him if he remembered the time we were waiting for the school bus and he actually said, “I ‘ove you.” My mute boy said this to me many years ago, and now my mute young man smiled the biggest smile ever and giggled a little. He remembered!
Spend time with your loved ones. Make eye contact when you can, and listen with all your heart. God is in these moments.
Do not neglect the smallest among you, for even the least of these are treasures in God’s sight. Receive the giftedness and energy of children and youth, listening to understand their questions and their wisdom. Respond to their need to be loved and nurtured as they grow. -Doctrine and Covenants 161:4a
I dwell in your presence.
Prayer of Examen
Spend a few moments recalling your day. Let details, events, and conversations drift through your memory. Offer gratitude for the day and pray to be aware of how God was present. What did you notice or feel that brought meaning? Pay attention to moments when you felt least in harmony with God’s vision for creation. Offer a prayer of confession. Pay attention to moments when you felt most in harmony with God’s vision for creation. Pray to be even more aware of and responsive to God’s presence in the days ahead. Amen.
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.