Lent Reflection Monday, March 2

xmas giftGive and gifts will be given to you, a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. (Luke 6:38)

That morning, I was the presenter at a retreat for young adults with disabilities.  As I stood at the podium, I felt hesitant. Everywhere I looked I saw wheelchairs, walkers, hearing aids, oxygen tanks, and picture boards. Though I had prepared a special talk, I set aside my notes. Leaning into the microphone, I asked:  “Has anyone seen God?”

A young man with cerebral palsy slowly raised his stiffened arm. “I see God at church,” he said.  Soon, a smiling man with Downs syndrome pointed to the ceiling. “God is in the stars.  BEEEE-U-TEE-FUL,” he called out.  At one point, a lad with a wide grin simply walked to the podium and patted me on the back.  “You’re doing a great job,” he told me. Everyone clapped and cheered.

As I stood there, it felt like I was being drenched in a rain shower of joy.

As the minutes worn on, everyone continued to share their encounters with the Lord. In the midst of it all, I noticed a young girl in a wheelchair; she could barely lift her head. Nonetheless, she waved to me and said:  “I see God every day.”

Though I couldn’t make eye contact with her, a reverent silence filled the gymnasium.

“I see God in you…”  I told her.

That morning, I had come prepared to give a talk. Instead, I had received the power and presence of Christ.

As you move forward on your Lenten Journey, share your gifts with great joy.

You may receive much more than you give.

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Nancy Jo Sullivan

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Nancy Jo Sullivan is an inspirational author and speaker. She has published with Random House, Guideposts, Readers Digest, and the Huffington Post. Her newest book, Small Mercies, was recently released by Loyola Press. In the book, she writes about God’s presence in motherhood, family, and love. Through poignant reflections, she recalls how she found God even in her darkest moments, especially in the months that followed the death of her daughter with Down’s syndrome. She reminds the reader that God is present in “every mess, burden, and blessing.” The mother of two grown daughters, Nancy Jo resides in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She loves hanging out with her daughters, teaching writing classes to kids with special needs, jogging, making spinach smoothies, and of course, writing about her imperfect life.

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