Pull up a chair in my domestic church and let's chat!

I have worn many labels (Not in any particular order): Catholic, Wife, Mom,Gramma, Doctor, Major, Soccer Mom, Military Wife, Professor, Fellow.

All of these filter my views of the world. I hope that like St. Monica, I can through prayer, words and example, lead my children and others to Faith.
"The important thing is that we do not let a single day go by in vain without putting it to good use for eternity"--Blessed Franz Jägerstätter

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Divine Encounters

I guess Julie D. and I will trade links today. Read her post about her day of errands and “Divine Encounters”.

When I left there I was musing about my two stops with the Christian stories flying around. Believe it or not, I don't go around talking about this sort of thing ... at least not without someone leading me into it. Honestly! So this was somewhat unusual.

It has been four years since I actively practiced medicine. In the years when I was in clinical practice I always marveled at the ways I “bumped into God”. A patient would show up in my office with a very unusual constellation of symptoms but I had just read about such a case the night before and could appropriately care for her. I always said a prayer before seeing my patients and I can’t count the times that it seemed like a little voice prompted me to do something a little bit different and it turned out to be exactly the right thing for my patient. I found practicing medicine was very humbling because I had no doubt that I was merely an instrument in God’s hands providing His gift of healing. I will never forget how one woman cried when I found the cause of her headaches and was able to stop the pain. She had been to multiple doctors before me. She said, “I am sure God put you in my path as an answer to my prayers”.

Working as a physician the “Divine Encounters” seem to be a bit more dramatic than what I have seen since I “retired” from medicine to be a writer. Yet I still “bump into God”. I am trying to figure out my new vocation. People and opportunities seem to just appear out of nowhere at just the right time. Every now and then I hear from a reader who says I said exactly what he needed to hear. I am currently reading Francis Cardinal Arinze’s book, God’s Invisible Hand. He has a lot to say about Divine Providence. He doesn’t believe in luck or coincidences. Rather, he believes God is providing for us if we will only follow His lead.

There are many things that God arranges on our way, individuals who come into our lives. If I am sitting here today, who knows? How is it explained? Only God knows the combination of events. Sometimes we say a person is lucky. I never apply to myself the word “luck”. No, I say it is providential, because it isn’t really blind fate or fortune or a blind combination of events. It is God directing all…

If only we would answer God’s call. He always takes the initiative. He will arrange the rest. And I could go into little details in my life, but there is no need. And some of them would be too personal. But I am very aware of individuals whom Divine Providence has used to make me be where I am, or what I am, or know what I know, or to save me from this thing or that one. Some I would never know. Some I would know.

So I strongly believe in Divine Providence; I strongly believe that God has us almost “in the palm of his hand” as the prophet Isaiah would say, and that nothing escapes him.

Actually, it is quite a relief when I finally let go and let God lead me instead of trying to wrest control from Him and figure it all myself. "God’s Invisible Hand" is always there. Recognizing His presence in everyday encounters is a good reminder.

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