Most of us aren’t focused on searching for God. Yet, as we live our lives, occasionally God breaks through our busyness, our daily routine and we stop and stand very still, mesmerized by a rainbow stretched clear across the sky, or a tiny flower waving alone in the breeze. A crying toddler wraps tiny arms around our neck, and we know God’s loving presence in the child’s vulnerability and the preciousness of the moment.
Baby Riley is teaching me to practice the presence of God. Regardless of what I am doing, if Riley is present, I recognize God with us. This week, Tom and I carried Riley in the tummy pack for a walk. The joy on Tom’s face as he strode proudly along, telling all he met, “This is my great-grandson” filled me with “Awe” as I thought about God’s gift of love.
Later in the walk, Riley fell asleep, his head leaning on one of the straps, totally trusting in Great-Grandpa to keep him safe. I could almost see God’s smile of love, feel God’s arms around us. If we open our heart, children can remind us to stop and see God’s awesome presence.
My own children were the first to teach me the wonder of God’s presence in the ordinary bits of life. Problem was the busyness of caring for three small children, often got in the way. I thought I had perfected the skill of recognizing God’s presence when I was blessed with grandchildren. I remember coming home from work and having two-year-old Christopher run to the door, his arms outstretched for his welcoming hug. The joy of God’s presence was gift wrapped by his little arms squeezing me tight. When my teenage granddaughter arranges to come for tea, or go shopping with me, I feel the awe of God’s love in this young adult who actually wants to spend time with me. Today I know God’s fabulous gift of creation as I watch baby Riley laugh out loud with joy when he splashes with total freedom in the bathtub.
Over the years I have learned the wonder of God’s presence is almost guaranteed every day. That wonder is carrying me through the Covid 19 pandemic.
I challenge all of you to consciously open your heart to God’s presence, seek those “awesome moments”. Seek them, and you will find them, guaranteed.
“But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.” (Matthew 13:16 NIV)