Get a whole new perspective through the eyes of the ultimate observer
Who is the observer? When I consider this question in prayer, I realise that I observe God’s love and mercy from a very interior and personal point of view when He allows me to witness His good works by acting through me. God’s witness is never clearer than in my role as a nurse. I see people every day when they are at their lowest and most vulnerable. In those moments, God whispers, can I come forward? When I surrender and give Him my yes, His Spirit moves through me to touch the people I care for: I feel my gaze soften to rest on the face of my patient, and I know that He is looking through my eyes. Suddenly, the right words are on my lips and I know that they come from Him.
The response from my patients is unmistakable. Their faces change and there is a peace and light about them. In those moments, I believe that I become the ultimate observer of God’s supernatural love and mercy in my patients encounter with Him. These interactions with my patients have nothing to do with me, and everything to do with God carrying out His Will through me. This can only happen when I step back from myself and allow my personal relationship with God to deepen. But it doesn’t end there. He then calls me to share that relationship with others.
When I was baptised at Pentecost last year my personal relationship as an adopted member of God’s family began. My response to God’s call was immediate and absolute. From that day forward, I became irrevocably devoted to Him. This devotion led me to understand that I can do nothing without the presence of Christ and my need for Him in my life surpassed any other need that I had. He met me where I was, totally exhausted and needing His help, and in all my imperfection and nothingness, I surrendered everything to Him. I purposefully gave Him absolute control over my life, including my marriage, friends, family, pets, career, finances…You name it, He now owns it!
My personal prayer to Him throughout the day became not my will, but Yours Lord as I began to shed layers of my old self. As a result, God transformed me inside and out. I experienced healing from my longstanding C-PTSD and various pain related ailments. People started responding to me in positive ways. Teachers crossed my path when I needed them, my already happy marriage improved beyond imagination, negative influences gently fell away without conflict, and I felt at peace. More importantly, I felt God’s presence by my side, and I began listening for His voice.
It has always been more natural for me to listen than speak to Our Lord and each day I sacrifice my time to contemplate the Face of Jesus and simply let His words flow over and within me. I believe that God Our Father desperately wants to have a personal relationship with each of us and He wants to share His burdens with us. He reveals this when we devote our time to Jesus.
Part of devoting time to Jesus is surrendering our will to Him and letting Him work through us to deliver people from their afflictions. It has been said to me that associating with sinners is against their religious values, however I wonder how we expect Jesus to continue healing the afflicted if we do not make ourselves available for Him to work through us?
We don’t need to be nurses to let God touch others around us. We all have friends, family, co-workers, and acquaintances that need God’s healing love. Each time we surrender to God, we are saying not my will but Yours, Lord and our spirit connects with His. This is how God meets us. We were created to live in intimacy with God, to pray without ceasing, to live in a place of worship. As we move into this way of living, we become introspective. We receive the deep unconditional love of God, and we are forever changed. We can’t go back because we are transformed as His love for us shifts from superficial head knowledge to a deep heart revelation that becomes the very core of our identity.
At the heart of relentless love, is a lifestyle of prayer, worship, justice, and discipleship. All of this starts with surrender and dying to self: in other words, we are being crucified with Christ. Becoming the observer of God’s awesome power is firmly grounded in love. It takes place when we surrender and release the love of God, bringing restoration to people and circumstances. We love, because He loved us first, and as we release the love of God, justice flows.
We release God’s love and become His witnesses when we feed people who are hungry, when we share our faith with people, when we prophesy, when we release the supernatural power of God to bring healing, when we live with mercy, humility, and obedience. Becoming God’s observer expresses His love to the world by allowing Him to work through us, and then people encounter Him.
Fiona McKenna is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Theological Studies. She lives in Canberra, Australia.
I was driving home when I noticed two street signs that seemed incongruous. The train station and shop signs were pointing in the wrong directions; the exact opposite ones, to be precise. If I were a tourist, a traveler who is not familiar with the suburb, I would have followed the sign and got lost. I guess somebody had moved the street signs as a prank or even as an intentional deception. In our walk with the Lord too, we need to know who is navigating us—God, ourselves, others, or the evil one. If we are not aware of our surroundings, we can easily get lost or misled. This Lent, whose voice will we listen to? Judas…the crowd…Pilate…or Jesus…?
To be good at anything, we have to put time, effort, and practice into it. The same applies to our preparation for eternity. How well are we going to do at the end of year exams if we have put little or no time towards studying during the year? Similarly, how well will we stand up on judgment day when we are held accountable for our lives? In our preparation period on earth for eternity, how much of our life was spent in prayer, good works, and sacrifice? Our Lord paid the ultimate price for our salvation, but we have to play our part. As He has graciously allowed us to be part of that sacrifice, let us not waste this valuable opportunity. He, through Calvary, has given us a chance to be part of His redemption, to be part of His sanctity, consequently allowing mere humans to be called into sainthood. What a privilege! As my mother would always remind us, children, this life of ours on earth, short or long, is but a preparation period, the springboard to eternity. How we fare in the structure of eternal life will be determined not only by Jesus’ death and resurrection, but by every thought, word, and deed we perpetrated during the time we spent on earth.
If your sacrifices are dragging you down and causing you to dread Lent—take heart. Our Lady at Fatima gave the children a prayer which offers compelling reasons to sacrifice. Her words may help dispel your Lenten dreads. The prayer begins: “O Jesus, it (this sacrifice I am making) is for love of You.” Why not borrow those words and make them your own? Telling Jesus you are doing this hard Lenten thing for love of Him may remind you why you are denying yourself in the first place: you are making room in your heart, so that you may love Him more. Further, the prayer helped the children offer their sacrifices for “the conversion of sinners.” You can do the same. When you make a Lenten sacrifice, offer it for a specific loved one who is living far from God. “O Jesus, this is for love of You, for the conversion of......” Praying in Our Lady’s words will not lessen the difficulty of your sacrifices; but, because it sweetens them with love for Jesus and for lost souls, her words may truly help to dispel your Lenten dreads.
I am not one of those holy souls who look forward to Lent. However, I do have a few friends and family members who do. So, I try to take note of why that is the case. Just last week, my mom mentioned she was looking forward to Lent so she could invite her band, who are all senior citizens, to her parish fish fry. She said she’s really looking forward to it, since most of them aren’t Catholic but have mentioned that they like attending fish fries. After enjoying their traditional fish and chips, my mom is planning on reserving a room in the parish hall so the band can make music together after dinner. They call themselves the Silver Foxes and often visit nursing homes together to spread a little joy. My mom is a joyful evangelist, even at age 80! And she has unlocked the secret that Lent is for more than making penitential acts, but it is a time for growing the Kingdom of God by growing the Body of Christ.
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