A couple of years ago, many of our pine trees on our grounds became victim to the California drought. One of the pine trees in the upper parking lot was next in line to go. When Charles, our security and hospitality person, came to know about it, he offered to take care of it. To begin with, he told me later, he would hug the tree and water it on permitted watering days. Three weeks into watering with gentle care and love, the tree began to show signs of green!
The world expects a lot from us. We ought to perform, bring in results… else you are fired! At times our hard work does not pay off as it should. What often follows for many of us is despair, desolation, discouragement, anxiety and stress. So, when the chips are down in our personal or professional lives, a little nudge, a word of encouragement, a pat on the back, can work wonders!
This is also true of our spiritual life. Our souls tend to “dry up” and become “unproductive.” We become like “children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming.” (Eph. 4:14) There is this mysterious connection between the events of our life and the inner soul.
However, St. Paul reminds us that Grace abounds and supersedes everything. God never gives up on us; rather He provides us opportunities to bounce back. He is patient and treats his children with utmost care and compassion. If we are honest with ourselves, we know that we can get so engaged in our lives that we may very well fail to see God reaching out to us on a daily basis.
For our part, we need to keep our eyes and ears open to the opportunities God continuously offers us to come back to him. He is always there with open arms to welcome and embrace us. So, where do I see God’s grace nudging me, encouraging me, or patting me on the back? How am I invited to use God’s grace to make choices that can be life-giving to me and my relationship with God and others?
What gives me the most hope every day is God’s grace;
knowing that his grace is going to give me
the strength for whatever I face,
knowing that nothing is a surprise to God.
~ Rick Warren
Reflection and photograph © 2018 by Fr. Bruno D’Souza C.P.