A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Seeing God in Others

Posted on: October 31, 2013

Today my morning didn’t get off to a great start: it was raining, the sky was grey, and I had to take my car to the shop because of a flat-tire warning.

After a long wait, I learned that, in an area busy with new home construction, I’d driven over a nail. And I’d have to come back in on the weekend to have the tire repaired.

Feeling tired and frustrated, I was returning home when I heard these words from the CD I was playing, India.Arie’s Voyage to India:

All of this is not by chance

That’s how I know that God is real

This beautiful song, “God is Real,” talks about how the amazing wonder of creation—the elements, sunrises and sunsets, flowers, rain, ocean life and more—shows the singer that God is real because none of these things could just happen.

I like to think that I see the beauty in nature, and I remind myself that we have God to thank for it all. But I started wondering how often I fail to see God in other people and their actions. Like the service representative at the car dealership, who saw that I was tired and stressed out and found time to have my tire checked and schedule a repair, even though the shop was busy.

Or my taekwon-do instructor, who is patient and encouraging even though I often have a self-critical attitude and not the “indomitable spirit” we talk about in our student oath.

Or my mother, who is seldom too busy to talk, no matter what day or time I phone and regardless of whether I call to share good news or vent.

Or my son, who is not embarrassed to be seen with me in public even though he’s a teenager and I drive a station wagon, listen to ’80s music in the car sometimes, and still prefer vinyl to CDs and MP3s.

If I choose to see God in the people I cross paths with during my day, I can’t help but have a greater sense of his presence and be more thankful for the way he uses others to bless me…and remember that he also uses me to bless others, whether with a smile, a word of encouragement, or a kind act.

I pray that we would see God in the people around us. And I pray that this weekend, as we remember our faithful departed, we would recall how God worked through them during their lives on earth.

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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