I recall in my youth – at our neighbourhood United Church, there was a point during each Sunday service when the minister would ask the congregation to share how God had acted in our lives during the week.
Like the open mike of today, various members – young and old – would speak up. A kid might say that he found a quarter on the street. Another would talk about the puppy his parents brought home.
Grownups would talk about a loved one who had been sick – and through the wonder of prayer – had now recovered. People were essentially sharing the positive events of the week.
Not a bad practice I thought – to recognize the good in your life . . . and to voice appreciation for it. I’m all for optimism and seeing the cup not only half full but overflowing.
But I also wondered how people felt about God when things were not going well.Was God responsible for the positive things for them but not the negative? Did they still recognize and appreciate His presence?
How I think about God has changed as I have with age. Having witnessed the drama of relationships, the unpredictability of health, tragedy undeserved, birth and death, I recognized that our limited minds are incapable of truly understanding God.
But I do believe that the best in our lives – and in ourselves – is God manifest through love – the caring of good parents, the understanding and acceptance of friends, the affection and commitment of partners, and the kindness of strangers.
Love is manifest in our lives in countless ways every day – in generosity, forgiveness and compassion.
We live in a beautiful world. There are wonders all around us. Yet the most palpable manifestation of God in our lives is the love we accept and give to one another.
So the question of the week is: How is love manifest in your life?