Finding God Among Us
By Cay Gibson
Anyone who says there isn't a God just hasn't looked up from the stove and seen Him walking through the front door.
God knows I'm not a good multi-tasker, so He sends me lots of help.
One minute I'm racing around, trying to fix supper, inspecting a flat tire on my daughter's car, planning to take her to work because of said-flat tire, getting one to dance class and another to basketball practice when...
...in walks God (I mean, my oldest son) who fixes said-flat tire, airs up all the other tires, and sends daughter on her way to work, then goes to pick-up younger sister at dance studio. Then in walks my husband (who takes our other son to basketball practice).
And I am left alone at home, if only for fifteen minutes, with my youngest daughter who is quietly playing with her dolls, leaving me with plenty of time to finish supper and contemplate His presence.
When was the last time you saw God? People often say they see him in a new sunrise, in the face of a sleeping child, in the eyes of a new mother, in the bud of a new flower. Yet He is even closer than that.
Sometimes He is found in the face of a sick child, in the potatoes we wash and peel for supper, in the eyes of our elderly parent, in the touch of a friend. Sometimes He is not as beautiful as a sunrise, a newborn baby, or a budding flower. Sometimes He just Is. God is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. God is the great "I Am".
"I Am" the child trying to climb into your lap this minute.
"I Am" the child asking you to read yet another picture book.
"I Am" the elderly mother calling for assistance.
"I Am" the husband looking for a matching pair of socks.
"I Am" the friend asking for a favor.
He is the here and now...the present moment whether beautiful or bleak, whether romantic or redundant. He is the great "I Am" and is always present. You really don't have to look beyond your household to find Him.
This Lent began with many sick ones in my home. We were all sick. I fixed many pots of nutritious meals for my coughing, hacking, wheezing family. Between plates of buttered toast and spoonfuls of sweet medicine, I really didn't think of God hovering around the beds of my family. It was work, hard work, getting everyone well, and I didn't think much outside the boxed walls of my home.
Yet just now, as I'm typing this, I am watching a brilliantly crimson cardinal flit around the branches of my gardenia bush. In the small intricate details of this tiny creature's being, I see God. In the brilliance of his foliage, I see God.
Earlier this week, my best friend's son and his wife safely brought my friend's first grandchild into the world. Lots of pink roses and balloons welcomed her to our world. Lots of kisses and hugs greeted the new parents. Such sweetness wrapped in pink and lotion and receiving blankets. And, again, I saw the face of God.
Why am I so quick to see God in the finer things of life? Why am I so quick to acknowledge His greatness and power in the beauty of things and in the things that happen once in a lifetime? Yet I fail to see Him and His power in the everyday, ordinary.
In the song lyrics "If God Was One of Us" by Joan Osbourne, the question is asked:
"What if God was one of us, Just a slob like one of us, Just a stranger on the bus, Trying to make His way home..."
God is not always the romantic image we look for. Those romantic images (the tiny newborn chick, the flower garden all in bloom) catch our breath and bless our sight because they are not found in the redundancy of everyday life. They are special moments, seasonal moments, moments that catch us off-guard, moments that happen fleetingly and then are gone.
God is also (and always) in the here and now. He is in the pot of chicken soup being stirred for all the sick ones in your household. He is in the hand that changes the flat tire. He is in the rosary you say for a grieving friend. He is in the smile you give your little ones every morning. He is at the bedside of a mental ward. He is in the pinecone smeared with peanut butter you helped your child hang on the leafless branch of a tree this winter.
He is in your household this very minute. How will you greet Him? How will you receive Him? How will you welcome Him? What will you do for Him today?
And, if you need Him, He is in your household this very minute. He might be driving up your driveway this very second. In the stress and frustration of your need, how will you receive His helping hand? How will you approach Him? How will you thank Him?
Big Pot of Chicken Vegetable Soup
- 10 oz. Private Selection Pasta Stars
- 7-8 boneless, skinless chicken breast (diced)
- 3 cubes chicken boullion
- 32 oz. chicken broth
- 1 yellow onion (diced)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 ½ cup diced carrots
- 2 stalks diced celery
- salt and pepper seasoning
Cook chicken until cooked through. Add water while cooking to prevent scorching. Sauté onions and celery in the butter separately. When chicken is cooked and tender, allow to cool then dice. Boil bouillon in quart of water until dissolved. Add chicken broth, diced chicken, sautéed onions and celery, carrots, and pasta stars. Continue to cook over medium heat until carrots and stars are tender. Season to taste and stomach tolerance. Freezes well.