The weekly Glimpses of God are opportunities to recognize, with greater clarity,the presence of God in the various places, people, events, situations and circumstances of your daily life. I offer them to you as an opportunity to reflect on how much God, as you understand Him, is a part of your life,how He chooses to use you and how you have chosen Him.They are glimpses because we can miss them if we are not paying attention. But if we open our heart to His love, if we open our ears to hear His gentle voice, if we open our eyes to see His light, if we open our hands to feel His hand in ours, and if we are open to share these gifts with others, then we too are being a Glimpse of God to those in our family, community, neighborhood, church and world. I hope that you  enjoy not only the Glimpse but also the daily reflections. Please share any comments on my blog page                                 

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Glimpse of God for the week of April 15, 2018

My Glimpse of God this week comes in the person of my sister Debbie Maratea.  She is my older sister and one of the best as we have grown up into adults and have come to learn and appreciate what family love is and how is abounds through and with God’s grace and heavenly touch.

Debbie is a single mom and has been since my nephew was born. His father was an abuser and by the grace of God Debbie was able to leave the abusive relationship and make a life for her and her son. She survived without any support from him and has done a great job raising her son alone amid many struggles. Her son just had back surgery last week and she has been tending to his recuperation and recovery and by the grace of God he is healing nicely. Her love for God, others and her cats are such an inspiration and she is a beacon true perseverance, courage and strength. She is a determined, compassionate, loving, caring, selfless individual who has always strived to be the best person that she can be.  I am blessed to be called her sister and my husband and I are blessed to call her friend.

Well this week she suffered a stroke. 100% blocked artery in the brain with 3 more troublesome spots. She managed to take herself to the ER, go figure, and then contacted me to let me know the she was there. That hospital, which is in Oxford Valley PA, and I am in Aston, was going to transfer her to another hospital in Philadelphia because they were not equipped to do a brain MRI at that location. She did not want to go there because her doctor was not associated with that hospital and because their reputation was not the best. When I found out what was happening and what hospital she needed to go to, I first contacted her doctor’s office to get some direction on how to proceed, I then called John, picked him up from work, and then picked Debbie up at the ER and proceeded to take her to Abington hospital ER where she was then admitted.

Due to the stroke, Debbie was told by the doctor that she cannot return to work. Her work has been a major source of stress and the catalyst to the stroke event occurring, and because she has minimal use of her left side, both arm and leg, she will be unable to go back to work. She does not get paid when she is not at work, her work does not pay into disability. I have set up a go-fund me page to ask for help from whoever feels called to contribute. He page is:

Her bill just to show up at the hospital was $400.00, which she could not pay. Her time away from work as the symptoms apparently were becoming more apparent has caused her great financial stress. Debbie listened at the onset of symptoms and had an MRI done, but the results did not come in at the time of the stroke. I don’t want to see her lose her home or her car or see her not be able to get her medicine because she cannot afford them.

So as we begin a new week, and for some a new normal, I would suggest that you think about how illness, stroke, cancer, heart attacks can occur at any time and that you should not only appreciate the gift of the loved ones in your life, but also the gift of your body and listen to it, because it is talking to you. You know when your body is speaking a different language, one that is unfamiliar and perhaps scary, but the body is trying to tell you something and you need to pay greater attention and listen, only you know your body and its unique language. We need to be here for each other and support each other in the good and challenging times, the scary and the consoling time. God did not create us to be on an island, alone and afraid, but placed us in His creation around those we call family, friends, neighbors, coworkers and church to pray for, lift up and encourage each other on the journey.

SUNDAY – “A”  A stroke, a sudden diagnosis of cancer, heart disease or a heart attack can lead us into a deep amount of stress, fear, anxiety, desolation and panic. One can doubt or turn to God, pray or run from prayer, but their reality doesn’t change and without faith, that reality only gets harder and more painful to deal with.

So this week if you or someone you know or love is facing a sudden illness, be present to them as best you can. If they are not able to talk about things, offer your prayers for them. God knows their needs and will answer them as He knows best. Prayer is the most powerful and the strongest gift you can offer for another. It a gift of selfless love because you are lifting up the needs of another before your own and one gift that God gives you to share, not hold on to.

MONDAY – “S” – Sudden. A stroke or any illness is sudden and unexpected. Life can throw those challenges on our path and we are called to muster up whatever strength, courage, and energy that we hold inside to deal with, cope with and meet head on the new challenge that has been presented to us.

As you begin a new week at work, babysitting the children, enjoying retirement, searching for new employment, whatever your week looks like right now, be open to the newness that it can offer. The newness can be in the form of a greater appreciation for the gift of nature; the birds, the bunnies, the deer, the various animals making their way out of hibernation, the spring and how it is making its way through the winter coldness, and the gift of others especially those you may not have paid much attention to. Look and listen with new eyes and ears, your body and whatever shape it has taken, and how wonderful you are and how God created you, the very unique and special person that you are. Life is short and today perhaps take a look at how blessed you are and how blessed you will continue to be as you seek to see God in the many ways that He will choose to reveal Himself to you.

TUESDAY – “T” Transforming. Illness can be a source of personal and spiritual transformation. It causes us to seek strength or power from a higher source when we realize that we cannot handle things on our own. When we seek to see God amid the struggles, when we realize that only He can heal and fix things, when we share our story with another person that we trust and can reverently hold it in their heart, when we realize that God is with us and that illness is not a punishment, then we are being transformed. God does not use illness as a punishment, yet many people want to blame Him and themselves for what their bodies are doing.

Today, look at how you have been transformed. Look at how you have changed and have been God’s instrument of transformation in the lives and hearts of others. If you listened to the story of another and they were able to sense your warmth and caring and that lifted up their spirits and give them the strength to want to go on, then you were an agent of transformation. As a parent, grandparent, good friend, caretaker, you probably are a transformative agent many times over and don’t even realize it because it comes so naturally to you. BUT….with humility, look at that gift that you have and are and take a moment to thank God and ask Him for His grace so that you can continue to be His agent, open and ready at His call and command to be His kingdom builders here on earth.

WEDNESDAY – “R” -Reflective. Any life changing event may bring us to reflect on our life: our goals, our accomplishments, our failures, our weaknesses, our desires and vision for the future and either feel grateful, regretful, or blessed.

For today, in whatever situation or circumstance, you find yourself in, take a moment to reflect on how you feel, what is going through your heart, mind and soul, and talk to God and honestly tell Him what you are experiencing. He already knows but like a great friend, He wants to hear it from you, in your words, with your emotions and with great honesty. He loves you and wants you to trust Him with your heart so that He can touch it, expand it, heal it and transform it into His heart filled with great compassion, mercy and love.

THURSDAY – “O” - Overwhelming. Life can sometimes overwhelm us. We get caught up in our own financial, physical and emotional stresses as well as those of family, loved ones, our friends and seem to get buried underneath all of that stuff. A thought for all that….Getting buried was Jesus’s calling and he rose from that after three days. Our bodies will be buried when we leave our earthly journey and return to God someday. So everything else is to be a source of resurrection and healing, strength and motivation and not defeat or disaster.

For today, look at what is overwhelming you and how is has become a source of difficulty, pain, fear, anxiety, stress and low self esteem and then take a look in the mirror. Try to see yourself as God sees you: Beloved, strong, fearless, courageous, loving, and compassionate. How you are an instrument of His peace and transformation, love, pardon, hope and consolation to others and how your love for Him is exuded in your love for others. You are His greatest creation and He loves you unconditionally and nothing you do, no sin that you commit, no weakness is ever greater than His love, mercy or compassion for you.

FRIDAY – “K”. Kind.  A stroke can leave one to be inpatient with one self. One is limited, vulnerable, now dependent on others, restricted, unable to do or say the things that they were able to do and say moments before. This can be a very scary time and one that they take out on themselves by being very harsh, and judgmental. One needs to be kind to one self when life’s challenges change them, either temporarily or permanently. When you encounter one who had recently been changed or has changed due to a medical diagnosis, try to see things through their eyes and seek to be a little more compassionate, understanding, forgiving, patient and loving. If you notice that others are not able to be these, encourage them to try. We do not know if or when we may be called to carry the same cross and if we are, I think that we would want the best to come out in others to meet or temporary worst or weakest moments. Simon helped Jesus, who are we called to help carry their cross?

For today, be kind to yourself. You are your worst critic. You see the worst, the weakest part of yourself where others can’t or choose not to. We are all sinners, but I believe that we are all trying to be the best persons that we can be because we want to be a greater reflection and beacon of God’s love to all those we encounter. Kindness begins in your heart towards you, then it stretches and reaches out to those in your immediate circle and then God takes and showers it on those who need it most. No singular act of kindness goes unnoticed, God pays it forward.

SATURDAY – “E” - Embracing. Embrace the gifts that has showered upon you: the gifts of faith, the Sacraments of the Church, His peace, joy, happiness, healing, family, friends, employment, retirement, grandchildren, pets, work, nature, the seasons, and the gift of your person and those that are known only to you. Embrace them so that when you are faced with the unexpected, you can meet the challenge with personal conviction, determination, strength, courage and peace knowing that you will never be defeated, but that you will overcome it in whatever form it takes. The strength, the belief and the confidence lie within you and when you need to be reminded of how much you really possess, look back at some of your other life challenges and see how you overcame them and how they have made you the strong and best person that you are today.




The Good News

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© Cookie A Magee