A Gentle Nudging
Shandra Newcom of Boulder, CO, USA
There are many who say, “O that we might see some good!
Let the light of your face shine on us, O LORD!”
You have put gladness in my heart
more than when their grain and wine abound.
I will both lie down and sleep in peace;
for you alone, O LORD, make me lie down in safety. -Psalm 4:6-8
It was an ordinary day. I was hustling through the airport, having arrived in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, for a work conference. I was running late and trying to keep track of everything I had to do. I rushed onto the bus which would take me to the rental car company. I was planning on doing a little work in the few minutes from bus to car. I looked up as a woman climbed onto the bus and sat across from me. I heard her deep sigh. I saw the worry in her eyes. In a second I decided to do something outside of my comfort zone-I asked her if she was OK.
She lifted her head and quietly said no. She told me she was on the way to her elderly mother’s house and that she was going to have to help move her mom into an assisted-living apartment. Her mother, she said, wasn’t doing well and was changing every day. It was, she told me, overwhelming. She was worried she wouldn’t be a good daughter. She was worried her mother was experiencing deep sadness. She was worried that she wasn’t going to be strong enough to do what needed to be done.
That morning, when I had prayed the Mission Prayer, I didn’t know that reciting the phrase, “God, where will your Spirit lead today?” would open an opportunity for me to be a gentle listener. But there I was-wrapped up in my own life yet given a glimpse into the life and struggle of a complete stranger.
I was able to listen to my sister in Christ who was sitting in front of me on this bus, sad and afraid. I was able to let her know that I heard her concerns. And I was able to share with her that she and her mother would be in my thoughts and prayers. And they have been.
God comes to us in the rushing of life. And also in the quiet. If we aren’t careful, we miss the gentle nudging that will open us to relationship. What a blessing it is to know that in the most ordinary of times, God loves us and that we are never, ever alone.
“Attention is the beginning of devotion” (Mary Oliver).
Spend a few moments paying attention, wherever you are. Notice your surroundings. What draws your focus? Look more closely at detail and color. Notice what pulls or prods within you. How is the God-in-all-things speaking to you through what you see and feel right here, right now?
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.