I can still hear his voice. “Isn’t that something?” he’d say as you told him your story. As busy as he was, and he was always working, he'd make time for you as if you were the only person in the world. He was truly a servant among men. I was honored to call him a friend.
As I sat listening to Bishop Michael Cote deliver the eulogy for Monsignor Robert Brown, I couldn't help but thank God for allowing our paths to cross. We worked together on the annual Way of the Cross procession for years. They were good times. We laughed a lot.
Every once in a while someone enters our life as a blessing. They come with life lessons to teach. They come to lift us up. They come to share the journey for a time. Life isn't easy. God sees the path we are on. He sends these angels to remind us that we aren't alone.
The key to unlocking these blessings is to recognize them when they come. Too often we see them after they are gone. We need to open our eyes and start looking for them. We need to realize that the bright-eyed child or the frail elderly gentleman may be the gift God sends.
To do that we need to live in the moment. We have to experience life as it comes instead of spending our days living in the past or looking to the future. We need to embrace every moment, every person, every day as a fresh opportunity to celebrate God’s grace.
No one knows the number of days that God's given us. He has promised that he will be with us. I like to think of my daily search for God as a game of hide and seek. He's there. I need to find him. He is in the smile of the woman bagging my groceries or waiting on my table.
God shows himself in the phone call of a friend that comes just at the right time. God peeks out from behind the mailman bringing a letter to our home. God smiles in the face of our children and shows us what love is all about. He's there. We just need to acknowledge him.
As we enter the season of Advent, I invite you to slow down. Don't get caught up in the rush of commercialism that marks the holidays. Live each day. Look for the gifts along the way. Give thanks. Share a smile. Offer grace. Who knows? Maybe you'll be the gift God sends.
God bless! See you in church.
The Rev. Cal Lord is pastor of Central Baptist Church of Westerly.