Walking Our Faith: Finding grace in ordinary moments | SummitDaily.com

Walking Our Faith: Finding grace in ordinary moments

I woke this morning at 5, and as I walked from my bed to the bedroom door, I had to step gingerly over two large Newfoundland dogs on the floor next to my bed where they sleep most nights. Kiki immediately sat up, waiting for me to reach down and lovingly rub her back and tell her I love her. Bear, who we also call King, didn’t move a muscle, but waited for me to reach down to pet him while he happily grumbled appreciation.

When I climbed back into bed, I realized it is these little things that I used to take for granted — because they were so ordinary and predictable — that now bring me special joy because they are ordinary and predictable.

I find myself looking out the window at the towering blue spruce and the mountains beyond with new appreciation. I allow my eyes to savor the same view that I have looked at every day for the past seven years as if I want to imprint it in my memory.

We will face challenging seasons throughout our lives — waiting for a college acceptance letter, dealing with the loss of our first unrequited love, caring for a child or a parent with an illness, or accepting our own mortality.

When they are especially painful, these life passages can confound us, knock us from our moorings, leaving feeling upended. We might think they will define us — alter the path we had planned to travel — and leave us feeling either helpless or bitter.

On the other hand, we can see these moments as opportunities to learn and realize that we will come through it not unchanged but different. We can face the unknown with a curious mind to see where it will lead. An open mind takes courage. But it will help in the dark moments when we feel this is too much to bear and that life is unfair.

“Do not lose heart, even if you should discover that you lack qualities necessary for the work to which you are called. He who called you will not desert you, but the moment you are in need, he will stretch out his saving hand.” — St. Angela Merici

But how?

It will be moments of ordinary grace that remind us of the good that still surrounds us. The grace to grow instead of flounder will be found even in this difficult place. When we are feeling overwhelmed, we can stop the racing thoughts and look for one good thing. This will ground us in the moment, trade the foreboding future with the reality of one anchor of goodness in the here and now.

Mom’s physical therapist, Nicole, is here. She helps Mom to walk with a walker. This has been a tough week for Mom. The bouts of tears and forgetfulness have been more pronounced this week. Her progress in walking faltered. But today was better. Mom walked with gusto. When I was unable to coax her to take a pill, we both grew frustrated and took a break. Then Mom took a spoonful of applesauce and did it herself. We hugged one another in gratitude and relief. We are learning as we venture through this new territory, which often feels like a dark forest whose path forward we cannot discern. This was a moment of light and grace.

The skies from today’s snowstorm cleared just as the sun was beginning to set, and we were rewarded with pink clouds and ribbons of fog draped over the mountains like a quilt.

These are the touchstones that remind us that time is a river and these islands of grace anchor us. This difficult season will eventually flow by, and we can bear the change we do not want to accept by embracing these moments of ordinary grace.

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.“ — 2 Corinthians 12:8-9, New International Version

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