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 howmuch 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, church, community,neighborhood, society and world.
Glimpse of God for the week of January 17, 2021
This week’s Glimpse of God comes from thinking about my sister recently moving to this area and all the packing and unpacking that she had to do, and a couple who had to pack up the belongings of their dear friend who recently passed away. Packing is not an easy task and for me, not one that I enjoy doing.
Anyway…. what does packing have to do with, or how is it, a Glimpse of God? The question I pose is, does it take the task of packing for us to realize and recognize God amid our daily life, activities, rooms, and objects in our home? Do we, or can, we recognize the presence of God in and through the many objects that we handle, some with great sentimental meaning and some with very heartfelt memories? When we pack to move or just to put things in storage, do we see the gift that the object is? As we go from room to room, or just pack up one room, is God with you as you pack? Do you ask Him for the grace to pack that which is necessary and leave behind that which is extra? On our earthly journey, we do not need extra things that can weigh us down and keep us from moving forward. The same goes for our spiritual journey, when things or stuff get in the middle or in the way of our spiritual life, then we need to let go of them. For instance, how much modern technology things do we need and how many things are too much? When we use them to heighten our prayer life, out time with God, then we are using them for our spiritual growth and development, but when they interfere and seem to be the center of our life and we cannot let them out of our sight, then we are missing out on spiritual growth and development. God wants our heart, and we want to give to give it to Him, completely not partially. So when one is packing or imagine packing, one has the opportunity to give a part of their heart to God through the objects that one holds, remembers and chooses to pack or not
What would it take for us to see God in our home the moment we open the door and enter in? Can we recognize that the rooms in our home can reflect our spiritual life in that God is present to us in those rooms in an incredibly unique and beautiful way. As we enter each room and begin to pack the items that are in that room, how do we place them in the box, or what thoughts cross our mind as we place them in the box? Does that specific room bring about good memories or sad ones, painful or joyful, calm, or chaotic?
Can we see God in the gift of our home and the many rooms that we enter as we go through it, the ordinary events, or routines that we enter each day, the pets that love us unconditionally? Do we bring God with us wherever we go?
Do we believe He is everywhere, even in the bathrooms and basements of our homes, of our lives?
We all know what it is like to have to pack our belongings, whether it is to move into another home because of downsizing, or moving after getting married, relocating for a new job, or moving into a dorm for college, it is something that some of us enjoy, and others not so much. Whether we have helped another to pack their stuff or had to pack for our own stuff, it is a tedious and time-consuming job. Depending upon the reason for the packing, like the death of a loved one, it can also be a painful experience. As one is left with the task of packing their loved one’s belongings, and in many cases finding a home for many of those belongings, this can bring about painful memories.
Packing can be likened to one entering their spiritual tomb where there seems to be a darkness that pervades. Whether one is packing to move, or one can take the time to remember when they packed to declutter or make more space, they enter the spiritual tomb as they let go, and trust that they will not be left empty, but will leave the empty tomb. The tomb can indicate where one is moving on from the present to the future and moving out of one’s comfort zone to be clutter free.
Isn’t that what we do when we pray for others and their concerns and needs? We place them before God with the hope and trust the He will hear and answer our prayer for them Although we do not see them as possessions, they can be likened to fragile items that once broken need to be mended and repaired. When we hurt another or we are hurt, we can liken our apology as the gift that God gives as we place the hurt in the box with the trust and hope that we are forgiven. With trust we enter our spiritual tomb and we come forth renewed.
I believe that if we can see God in the ordinary, we will be able to recognize Him more clearly in the extraordinary, be it in the people, places, or events. As you begin your day, try to see God in your home and the rooms you enter. What do they symbolize or represent? If you had to pack the objects in that room, how difficult would it be, what objects would you take, and what items would you want to leave behind. Can you see that the room represents your spirituality where God is present with each memory? If you ever have packed to move or helped someone move, do you remember the way rooms and the various objects were packed? What room was first and what room was last? Were some objects skillfully packed with great care, while others were just placed in the box with little significance or concern.
Sunday: The Vestibule – The entrance to your home. Your smile is the vestibule to your heart. As people enter your home, do they feel welcome? Can you seek to open your heart to others as they enter your home, the place where you dwell with family and you welcome friends? What objects in your vestibule bring a smile? The shoes of your children or spouse in a pile by the door, the coats on the chair because one was in a rush to sit at the dinner table for the meal? A mirror showing the reflection of those you love as they enter and leave your home?
For today: Think about if you had to pack those objects in the vestibule, What would you pack first? If your smile is the vestibule to your heart, what would you pack so as to keep your smile, so that you can continue to feel the joy and happiness of the Lord? Would you leave behind that which keeps you from experiencing the joy that God has instore and ready for you?
Monday – Your Bedroom – a room where you rest, your belongings are kept, a room that is private. Do you thank God for the gift of rest? Are you grateful that you have a place that you can recourse to if you need a break and want to be alone? Your clothes…Can you see God in the gift of clothing and how it covers the body, the Temple of the Holy Spirit, a temple that should be reverenced, honored, and protected. You are the Body of Christ, you were created in the likeness and image of God, so instead of being critical and judgmental, choose to rejoice and be glad.
For today, think about if you had to pack those objects in the bedroom, what would you pack so that you can continue to get the necessary rest that your body needs? And keep your personal time with the Lord in prayer?
Would you leave behind that which keeps you from accepting that you are a temple of the Holy Spirit, the Body of Christ? A beacon of His love and a reflection of His presence?
Tuesday – The Bathroom - The bathroom is a room of cleansing of the body, what do you want to be cleansed of? Can you ask God to cleanse your mind and heart of anything that is impure and blocking your path to becoming the saint that we all strive to be? Have you taken advantage of the Sacrament of Reconciliation recently? God is waiting and invites you to share your story so that He can cleanse and heal you and make you whole.
For today, think about if you had to pack those objects in the bathroom, what would you pack so that you could continue to cleanse your body and soul of those things that steer you into the direction of disbelief that you are beautiful in God’s eyes and that you are His beloved child, loved unconditionally and His greatest creation? Would you leave behind the voices in the mirror that convinced you that God doesn’t love you and that you were less than human because of your sinfulness. Those sins or weaknesses that you have overcome with and by the grace of God and the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist? God has forgiven and forgotten so must you.
Wednesday – The Living Room – The room where one watches TV as a family, plays games, where family gathers to talk, laugh, cry, share stories, and just relax. Can you thank God for the many living room experiences that you had that have brought you closer to those you live with, with those who you welcome into your home?
For today, think about if you had to pack those objects in the living room, what would you pack so that you could always be ready and wanting others to relax with, share stories and humor with, to grow in love together? Where quality time has strengthened your relationships with those whom you love. Would you leave behind those that interfered with the quality time that you wanted to spend with family and friends?
Thursday - The Dining Room – The place where you gather around the table, a place of presence, a place to be nourished and where bread is broken and shared. The dining room is the place where hard work produces food and nourishment for the body. Can you thank God for not only the gift of food, but for the ability to prepare it and for those who partake of it?
For today; As you enter the dining room try to see those you love enjoying the time together over the meal that you have prepared and rejoice. What would you pack so that you could continue to be present to those who gathered around your table for a meal, conversation, presence? Would you leave behind those that distracted you from wanting to gather around the table, that keep you from preparing a meal, that keep you away from those you love? Weariness, discouragement, isolation, ….
Friday – The Basement – The basement is a place where many things occur, and is often used as an exercise room, a playroom, and a place where things are stored. The basement is not on the same level as the other rooms for one has to go down into the basement. Where in our lives have we fallen or descended instead of standing up for our faith, a loved one, or ourselves?
For today, can we ask for the grace to stand up, stand tall in humility and not let others or false guilt bring us down so that we feel unloved or that God has abandoned us? God’s mercy is far greater than any sin that we commit, so stand tall and allow God to embrace you.
What would you pack? Those objects events or people that picked you up and raised your spirits. Those who enabled and encouraged you to stand up for yourself and for your beliefs.
Would you leave behind those events or people that lowered your confidence and brought you down to the level of indifference. Those events where no one had your back and you lowered yourself to the temptation’s that assailed you.
Saturday – The Kitchen - The area where meals are prepared, a place where conversations abound, and quick greetings are shared as one goes off to work, school or meetings. As you prepare your meals in the kitchen, can you recognize that our greatest meal, our spiritual nourishment is in the Holy Eucharist? You are invited to take and eat of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. As you enter your kitchen, close your eyes and vision when you receive Jesus in the Eucharist and share a prayer of gratitude.
For today: think about what it takes to prepare a meal: the ingredients, the time, the patience, the desire, and the energy and as you see what you need more of and what is overflowing, ask for the grace to receive that which is lacking and to share from what is overflowing.
What would you pack? Those ingredients that helped you prepare a meal with great love: patience, peace, joy, happiness, understanding, respect, and peace. Would you leave behind those objects or people that took away your peace and caused you to be inpatient, short, and judgmental with those in your home, community, and neighborhood?