In his best-selling book "The Ragamuffin Gospel," Brennan Manning tells the story of a woman named Linda who, while kneeling in an empty church saying the Lord's Prayer had an encounter with God.
I don't know or can't recall if this was a true story or simply an illustration to make a point, but it's worth pondering as we look for God in our midst.
"Well, yeah," says Linda, "we could all use a little more heaven around here."
"So what are you doing to make that happen?" asks God.
"I kind of thought you would do all that, you're the king."
"You can't have a kingdom without subjects to do thy will."
"Oh," gulps Linda, along with all the rest of us."
In his first letter, the Apostle John wrote, "Little children, let us not love in word or speech, but in deed and truth." This is our reminder that what we do is more important than what we say or believe. "This is the urging of God's Spirit breath and wind," as Manning pointed out. Or as St. Paul might say, this is what it means to "bear good fruit of the Spirit."
As you pray today (and I hope you do), ask for your heart to be open, ask for your hands to be opened, ask for your mind to be opened, and ask for your eyes to be open wide enough to feel, touch, understand and see the many ways we are called to love one another in this place we call life.
With this simple prayer not only will you find love and peace in your life, but you will also become the peace and love that is so needed in our world today.