Thursday, May 26, 2011

Seeing His Hand

In his movie, The Passion, director Mel Gibson portrayed the moment of Christ’s death on the cross by having a single teardrop fall down from heaven. And the earth quaked. If that was a good illustration of God’s feeling, I wonder what He is feeling of late.

It rained about five inches in our area yesterday. “A chance of rain” became a deluge, and streams became rivers, and many roads were (and are) flooded for the first time in recent memory. And most people are saying today in one way or another: “I was greatly inconvenienced by this.”

I don’t know that those teardrops from heaven yesterday had any particular divine meaning, but I am confident they had some, even if I don’t understand it. They have some divine meaning because they impacted me. No, I’m not saying that God would flood cities, or part the Red Sea for that matter, to tell me in particular something, but I am saying He does speak to me, in the events --- and people --- that impact me. It’s how he speaks to and impacts everyone, by people and events in our lives. And to the degree we can stop worrying about “poor me,” people and events can help make us who God wishes us to be. If we let Him.

Fr. Wilfrid Stinissen understands that and explains it well in his short book: Into Your Hands, Father. In this book and others I have reviewed on abandonment to God’s will, what comes through very clear is a single thought: If we really want to abandon ourselves to God’s will, we must stop so ardently seeking to find it, and instead let ourselves be found. We don’t have to search for ways to reach out to God, but accept His reaching out to us. And every time we worry primarily about us, and our feelings and our hurts, we are not open to why things are happening to us. They happen for a reason. He is reaching out.

We deeply regret the fact that “into each life a little rain must fall,” and even into some, a deluge. But this happens for a reason, and a good one, if we accept it.

As long as we want to decide for ourselves where we will find God, we need not fear that we shall meet him! We will meet only ourselves, a touched-up version of ourselves.

Beautiful thoughts and theories … do not change our lives. They are not our most important teachers. We are influenced by events. God speaks through events. Every event is a word of God to us. I live in God’s presence when I accept what happens as a message from him without rebelling against it.

It requires a deep faith to recognize him in everyday, ordinary incidents. We seek him in the great things, but he communicates and reveals himself in the small. The most important thing is that we believe it is he who is writing the book of our lives and that we allow him to write.

Fr. Stinissen writes very well. His words are simple, yet intriguing. The short segments in this book make for simple, quick morning meditations. To make us think and, for a change, to think not about ourselves. They remind us to be open to seeing, and taking, His hand --- from wherever or through whomever it may be extended, even if it brings us pain. Fr. Stinissen’s words remind me of the simple admonishments of Josemaria Escriva:

Many who would let themselves be nailed to a cross before the astonished gaze of thousands of spectators, won’t bear the pinpricks of each day with a Christian spirit! But think, which is the more heroic? The Way, Number 204


  1. Oh, I liked this very much. It is harder to bear the pinpricks with a Christian spirit! How do you find Fr. Stinissen compares with Caussade?

  2. Comparing those two!? Hmmm, I guess I like Caussade better, because as far as I am aware, he has written more --- and I am a reader! Seriously though, I very much enjoy (I re-read my underlines) both, still.