TRACES OF GRACE:
GLIMPSES OF THE DIVINE
IN EVERYDAY EVENTS...
“A Christmas Gift from God.”
It was mid-1980s and my mother had recently died. In my grief, I sought comfort from a local Unity church and found their service so uplifting that after a few months of attending, in November I decided to become a member. It was now early December and the church Christmas party was scheduled for that evening. I still didn’t know many members well but wanted to attend the party which was to include a gift drawing.
I went shopping in hopes of finding a favorite red and green paisley fabric that I could use to whip up a scarf to wear to the party as a sort of secret confidence booster, but none of the stores had what I sought. So I came home and decided to make the best of things by decorating a bright red sweater with a Christmasy corsage of wintry flowers with red berries. At the party, the air sparkled and hummed with the high energy that only a newly awakened soul can truly appreciate. We sang carols and drank punch, and before long it was time for the gift exchange.
A Santa bag full of brightly wrapped packages appeared and each person was to draw a gift from the assembled items. I drew a long slim package wrapped in green and tied with red ribbon. When I opened it, I chuckled quietly even as I drew in a sharp breath. There it was: The very paisley I had searched for all afternoon! Only this item was no scarf but a red oven mitt with matching pot holders! I laughed to realize that God knows exactly what we want and need and how to get it to us. The fact that He also provided protective gear for avoiding burns was not lost on me, as I smiled at God’s sense of humor. I realized that He was teaching me that spiritual gifts can be warm and cozy—or hotter than comfy, until we learn how to respect and cooperate with them! I thanked God for the gift—and its none-too-subtle lesson.
“His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.”
I was about to go out into the garden to do weeding and other gardening tasks, but first I went through the house to turn off all unneeded lights and save on my electricity bill. So I reached down and turned off a night light in the hallway near the Utility Closet door, then got my gardening gloves and hat and went outside. I was busy out there for a couple hours. When I came back in the house and headed to the bathroom for a shower, I noticed in the hallway that the nightlight I had turned off earlier had suddenly “sprung apart” with all the pieces scattered in the hallway. But the actual metal prongs to the electrical plug were still in the wall socket. Darn! I thought to myself, that means I have to turn off the electricity in order to get those prongs out of the wall plug.
I opened the door of the Utility Closet and suddenly my attention shifted from the wall plug problem to a more serious, immediate problem staring at me from off the floor: The water heater had sprung a leak and there was a pool of water on the floor! I quickly grabbed some towels and started mopping up water. I called a plumber and set about finding a garden hose and bucket, because clearly the heater was going to dump 80 gallons of water on my floor if I didn’t get that water drained fast!
Luckily, the plumber company’s office manager was still in, even though it was after closing hour. He was kind enough to come by and help me to drain all the water out of the now useless water heater tank, and the next day their plumber brought and installed a new water heater.
I attribute the broken night-light fixture to the Divine Intervention of God and my Guardian Angels, because if He/they had not used that device to get my attention, I would not have opened the closet door and discovered the water leak! The Lord truly works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform. Thank you, God!
“Sleep in Heavenly Peace.”
– I love snow-globes and my friend had given me a pretty one for Christmas. Inside it was a beautiful angel with golden wings, with sprigs of holly; when you wound it up, the musical globe played “Silent Night.” I kept it on the fireplace mantel year round. (‘Course I also keep my Christmas tree up year round, but that’s another story.)
One afternoon I stood in the living room wearily folding laundry, after not sleeping well the night before. Suddenly the musical globe’s chimes started to play the melody from the Christmas hymn “Silent Night,” but only the phrase “Sleep in heavenly peace.” I was in awe that it would play only that portion of the song, then go silent! I took this as a loving ‘hello’ from my deceased friend, reassuring me that all is well and I should let go of any anxieties that cause insomnia and just “sleep in heavenly peace“ --which I promptly did that night.
God has blessed me with many examples of His loving Presence and there is no better time than Christmas to rejoice over His tender mercies toward those He loves.
--Wishing one and all a beautiful Christmas Season filled with the Wonder of His Love and plenty of glimpses of His Divine Presence!
Feet to Fire
(Copyright December 2020; from a work in progress)