Daily Bread September 18

Tangible, Real, and Present
Linda Booth, president of Council of Twelve Apostles

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. -Luke 6:36

My Grandmother Timm looked for and saw God all around her. I loved spending time with Grandmother because God was tangible, real, and present when I was with her. Her connection with God’s Spirit spilled over into her daily life. Those sacred moments with Grandmother continue to shape my spiritual journey.

I remember walking barefoot through the dry, fall leaves in Grandmother’s backyard. She would say, “Listen. Do you hear God whispering to you?” And I did.

Sitting on her brick-floored patio in lawn chairs under a towering pin oak tree, she’d say, “Look up. God’s waving at you.” As I looked up into the leaves flickering in the breeze, I did see God waving.

When we took the bus from Independence to downtown Kansas City, Missouri, and ate at the Forum Cafeteria, Grandmother would draw my attention to a specific person and ask, “Linda, can you see Jesus’ face?” And sometimes I saw what Grandmother saw. I did see Jesus.

Our first-born son was the first grandchild and great-grandchild in our family. Family often gathered in our small apartment to hold and enjoy this new life. On one particular visit, I commented to Grandmother that it seemed strange that we intently watched Burnie even when he was sleeping. Grandmother explained the fascination. “Not long ago Burnie was with God. We can still smell God and feel God in this little child.” And Grandmother was right-I could smell and feel God in my baby’s breath and on his skin.

When Grandmother was dying of liver cancer and her skin was a pumpkin-yellow and hot to the touch, I could feel God’s warmth as I held her hand. I could feel God’s tears on my face. I could see Jesus’ face in Grandmother’s wrinkled face. God was near!

Prayer Phrase

“…all things in God and God in all things” (Mechthild of Magdeburg).

Spiritual Practice

Reflecting on Presence

Breathe deeply and become present to the Presence with you here and now. Take a few moments in the silence to reflect prayerfully on the following questions:

Where have you been aware of God’s presence in your life?
What is God’s invitation to you in this story?
How do you desire to be more open to God’s presence and invitation tomorrow?

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.

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