Hi everyone! Happy Monday. I hope your weekend was relaxing! To start, I have two announcements for you…
First, thank you so much for making June the most read month I’ve had since starting the blog! We almost reached 400 views and had visitors from all over the world including the United Arab Emirates, Philippines, England, Ireland, Colombia, and Russia! Even though some of these might be from my friends traveling overseas, it’s still pretty cool.
Second, I’m taking my own advice this week and relaxing! As you read this, I’ll be on a plane to Costa Rica to celebrate my 21st birthday 🙂 I’m very excited to turn 21, but not because I like to drink. To me, 21 is a greater marker of adulthood than 18. By no means do I feel like an adult, but I think 21 carries a better connotation than anything before it.
But anyways…5 days of bliss is about to be mine, and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m taking the week off from everything…homework, exercising, and yes, blog writing. Unfortunately, that means there won’t be a post this Friday 😦 I think it’s time I spend quality time with my parents without having to think about any obligations. They do so much for me, and to tell you the truth…I really miss them. Every time they see me, I’m usually swamped with school, so I think we both deserve unhindered time together.
But, I promise next Monday’s post will be a great one! Thank you for understanding.
On to today’s post…
I really do think I saw an angel this past week.
On Wednesday, I finally got the chance to go to adoration, which follows the 5:15pm daily Mass. But from the moment I walked in the door, I knew something felt different. Not only was adoration not setup for some reason, but also there were three other people sitting there in silence. I recognized one of them as a student from the Catholic Student Center and another was a businessman clearly spending some extra time with Jesus.
But another man stood at the podium reading Scripture out of the book they use for Mass (sorry I don’t know the name of the book). In all my years of being Catholic, I’ve never seen anyone do this. But he stood there confidently like he had the authority to do so. As I sat down and began reading my book, I couldn’t keep my eyes off him. I would begin reading only to find myself glancing over at him. Every time my book encompassed me, he would find a way to grab my attention. He was captivating.
As time went on, he migrated from the podium to a prayer area my church has. He kneeled there and began praying to himself…not quietly in his head but in a muffled voice that rose and fell with a tempo almost like he was singing. Before long, we were the only two in the church. I tried my best not to be scared, but he was intimidating. Something inside of me told me to on guard…
And just as I began thinking about all the terrible things this man could do to me, he stood up and began walking out. He was tall, definitely well above 6 feet, and walked with a commanding presence. His shoes hit the floor with a loud thump, almost like he was wearing very thick heels. But he moved with a juxtaposing grace. It was odd to say the least.
As he exited the church, I heard the footsteps stop. My heart and stomach dropped. I thought it was my time.
Suddenly, I heard him say in a loud voice, “God bless you young man!” as he waved goodbye to me. After jumping out of my skin, I responded and waved goodbye. As the church doors closed, chills encompassed me.
Call me crazy, but I think he was an angel.
The way he walked, his deep prayer, his commanding presence and voice…they were unlike anything I had seen and impossible for words to describe. And when I think back, I can remember everything about him…he was wearing an orange polo shirt, black slacks, and black shoes. He was tall, middle aged, and had a small belly.
But the one thing I can’t remember is his face. It was like it was hidden the entire time. And when I think back to the silhouette standing at the back of the church waving goodbye to me, I don’t even remember seeing anything but a dark figure, despite him standing next to a window.
Whatever it was, it was a weird moment…definitely one that will be engrained in my conscious for the rest of my life.
God works in mysterious ways. I’ve been discerning a lot in my life lately that I’ll save for another post, but seeing that angel was a sign. It was God speaking to me in a small way that I easily could have missed had I not been paying attention…had I not been exercising my faith.
Have you ever wondered why God seemed to perform all of these miracles in Scripture, but He seems absent now? In a world that seems to fall apart more and more every day, people aren’t being raised from the dead, water isn’t turning into wine, and the blind cannot miraculously see after talking to a priest. In a sense, God feels nonexistent outside of church, and I’d venture to say some people have a hard time finding Him there, too.
But He’s not forgotten about us. He’s everywhere. He’s in the person that holds the door for us. He’s in our loved ones that smile at us when we have a rough day. He’s in the morning sun that grants us a new day. He’s in the little things…we just need to be attentive.
During this weekend’s homily, the priest spoke about this topic and shared a story about a man he visited this week that’s going through a rough patch. After moments of silence, the man said to the father, “Why can’t God work in the ways he did in Scripture?” Undoubtedly, this man was referring to Jesus’ miracles. His question had the age-old connotation…why do bad things happen to good people?
In the father’s words, “As trite as this may sound, we need to have faith. But this is misunderstood…we do not need to have faith, but rather exercise the faith we already have.”
Trusting that God is listening to all our prayers is hard enough, but realizing that He is responding to them can sound too good to be true. After all, war, poverty, and violence still plague the world despite continuous intercessions.
But God does listen. He does respond, just not in the ways we want and expect him to. If we want to hear God’s answers, we need to open our hearts, minds, and eyes to the world around us. We need to look for the needle in the haystack so to speak.
While this is definitely harder than God simply granting our prayers, I like to think that God does this for a reason. Think about it…if He granted all our prayers in the lavish, extraordinary ways we expect him to, how deep would our faith be? It’s my opinion that our faith would dwindle rather than flourish. Honestly, how faithful would we actually be if everything were placed at our feet?
I like to think that the reward is great in Heaven for those who look for the needle and believe without having seen.
I also believe that when we find those little interworkings of the Holy Spirit, they are more impactful than an obvious answer. Seeing the angel on Wednesday has left a mark on me that words can’t describe. It’s left my heart yearning for God in a way that it didn’t before. I know He’s listening. I know He’s guiding me every step of the way.
I know He’s guiding you, too.
So maybe this week, let’s focus on being more attune to God in the world around us. Let’s look for Him in the morning sunlight and gentle breeze. Let’s meet Him in the hallways as He smiles back at us. Most importantly, let’s be His servant and His instrument to those around us.
I hope you all enjoyed this post! To be honest, it’s always a little nerve wrecking putting a strictly spiritual post up, but I think that’s one of the ways God is using me in this world…to be a voice for Him. I think it’s a call we all have, though it’s probably the hardest to fulfill. But like He says in Scripture…
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” ~ Matthew 5:10-12
Don’t forget to like, share, and comment below. I’ll talk to you next week 🙂