Monday, June 10, 2013

coincidences of grace

At mass this week, the priest made a quick point in his sermon that I can't stop thinking about.  He told the story of his sister Margaret, who died when she was just six months old.  He later told the story about his father being surrounded by his children as he was preparing for death, and noted that his father's nurse was named Margaret.  "So we were all there," he said.  "Though some would dismiss it as a coincidence, we knew it was a grace given by God.  Don't we do that often?" 

Don't we?  Don't we ignore or belittle so many of the small ways God showers us with His mercy?  If we opened our eyes and hearts a bit more, so many "coincidences" in life might remind us of the vast love of our Lord.

The day we learned that we were pregnant with #3 was actually, in retrospect, filled with graces.  It was a Saturday...Andrew had just arrived home from Hong Kong late the night before, so he was thankfully present for the big news.  This day was already marked as special; I was scheduled to leave around lunch for Nashville to celebrate the baptism of my goddaughter, the daughter of one of my dearest friends.  Soon after we started our morning, a box arrived from Tennessee--a box that contained a sweet gift from our fertility center in Chattanooga.  The gift, a small figure, was titled "prayer of peace."  Peace--something that was so lacking in the weeks preceding and following this day. 

You see, while I wanted a positive pregnancy test so much, I was also terrified by that prospect.  So God, through these small graces, was reminding me that He was next to me.  He was there when that second line appeared.  He was there in Andrew's smiles and laughter, in his joy; He was there in my tears and anxiety.  This was not a journey we would walk alone.  Our God, defined by constancy, would be with us in whatever celebration or heartache lay ahead.

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