Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Gifts Workshop Experience by Hawley Todd

Dear Sisters and Brothers at Grace,

Several months ago, I went to a Gifts Workshop that the Diocese offered. It was intended to be a model for what we could do at Grace. It deeply moved me and I would like to share with you what happened.

Our instructions to prepare for the workshop were to divide our lives into 10 year segments and think of

one or two persons in each segment who really inspired or touched our lives. When we came together as a group we would share how and why one or two of those people were important to us.

I prayed and asked God to bring to my heart and mind those persons he wanted me to remember. I was surprised at the two people who came to my mind. They were very different. The first memory was sitting in the living room of my home holding my infant baby daughter Tina. The second memory was living in India and meeting a holy man in an apartment in Bombay. I knew the images were important but I did not see any apparent connection.

When it came time for me to share who my two people were and why they had impacted me, it all became very clear. While I had been holding my first child, I had looked deeply into her eyes and experienced the unconditional love of God. Being present with her and simply cradling her in my arms had been a doorway into a profound experience of God's presence and love. While I had been in India and met the saint in an apartment, we were not in a religious or holy setting. We were watching Get Smart on television. Yet in that very secular and common setting, the holy man touched and blessed me. I experienced the love and presence of God in ways so deep that I cannot come close to describing it.

God had been revealed in two totally different people. Yet each had acted as a bridge to divine love. What was even more eye opening to me was the realization that both experiences were in the midst of everyday activities. God was and could be present anywhere: holding a baby or watching TV. Something about each of those souls and their very presence enabled me to be touched by God.

Hawley Todd
March 30, 2010

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