You know that story of the prophet Elijah where he is hiding out in a cave and then he hears God say “the Lord is passing by” so he’s like, whoa I better get out of this cave and check it out.
First there’s this giant wind and then there’s an earthquake and then as if that wasn’t enough there’s a big fire… and yet the Lord wasn’t present in those big, crazy things! Nope. He was present in what came next… a tiny whispering wind.
As I heard this story being read in church last Sunday I was struck by how often I find myself holding my breath, sitting around, waiting patiently for God to be present to be in His quiet, hidden way — like the tiny, whispering wind.
But, an important contextual note that we have to remember is that this is a story from the OLD testament… pre-Jesus. This is from when God often remained more hidden than not, only speaking to His prophets and priests.
After Jesus, everything was different. God came to earth and became present among us. He walked and talked and performed miracles. He sanctified ordinary life, and work.
And He remains present to us in our neighbors through grace.
Jesus said (in Matthew 25: 35-20) that anytime we feed the hungry, or give drink to the thirsty, or shelter the homeless… essentially, any time we act with love and charity toward another human… we are doing that for Him. It is Jesus himself whom we are caring for; He is present in each of us, especially those who may be wrongly looked upon as the “least” in society.
As all of this ran through my head on Sunday morning, I realized how often God is knocking on my thick head and saying to me… “the Lord is passing by”… it is every time I come face to face with another person. Every time I walk out my front door and see
the apartment maintenance man
the UPS guy
the elderly woman slowly, slowly, driving in front of me
the man on the corner, begging for money
the woman who is towing 3 small children through the store
It is Him. The Lord is passing by. Each is a chance for me to practice what it really means to be a Christian — to recognize that God is present among and within us all and what I do, say, and think matters. When we fail to treat each other as we would treat Christ, we fail as Christians.
We don’t have to search for God in the whispering wind, He is here.
C.S. Lewis said, in his piece, “The Weight of Glory” that because each of us are created with immortal souls, made in the image and likeness of God, we are holy. None of us are ordinary.
“Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.”
Which is why my heart breaks in an indescribable way over all the racism and violence of our country. It is so far removed from our Catholic understanding of the holiness of each one of us. If only we didn’t confine God to the walls of the church, or the bindings of the Bible and we recognized that He is here. Now. Not distant. Not hidden. Our neighbor’s deserve to be treated with the same dignity and worth and sanctity of Elijah when He recognized God in the whispering wind.
The Lord is passing by. He is your neighbor. How you treat them, you treat Him.
I’m praying that we never forget that.
You Are Enough
Don’t ever forget that okay? You are beautiful and precious and deserve good things — and I can’t tell you that enough! Look I even dedicated a side-bar-box-thing to it. God has a plan and a purpose for your life and He died and rose again because He wants to spend forever with you! Okay, read on. Important reminder over.
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God & Spirituality
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.” Psalm 23:1-3
If we attach God’s blessing to our fertility and our families it would mean I am more favored by God than the woman next to me who can’t have children. And we know God’s love doesn’t work that way.
And the salt in the wound of my tender millennial christian heart was when the “things” meant more to people than people. When the rosary and the praying of it was more important than looking and seeing your neighbor’s need wasn’t a holy card but a smile and a hug.
So yeah, I’m not the perfect Christian. Not always the loving, well-behaved daughter of God. But He is big enough to handle my big, complicated emotions. He is understanding enough to listen to my angry ranting and raving.