An Absence of Fanfare

Posted on November 11, 2011


She rocked and nursed her baby tiredly, her heart reaching to God wistfully for answers. Her daughter prayed with such faith to find the special stuffed rabbit, now lost, in naive prayers that God would somehow bring it back to her. Her mother rocked and sighed that those kinds of prayers just don’t often seem answered, and wondered what that does to a child’s fragile faith. She thought of the stove, recently purchased used, but which didn’t work when they brought it home and plugged it in. She reached for help from the heavens, for even the slightest idea to try, and wondered that the heavens seemed so silent. The words formed in her mind, “Why? Why not just the one prayer, answered straightforwardly?”

I sat in the silent, riveted room as tears filled her eyes and choked her words. “I looked down then at this child for whom I prayed so long, and I understood. ‘You’ll never have to answer me anything ever again,’ she said, barely above a whisper, but with a strength that resonated through the room. “This is enough for the rest of my life.”

I’ve thought since how seldom God tells me what he intends to do in my life. I reach for answers and direction and listen carefully. What I hear is usually encouragement that I’m on the right path or clarity about a thing to do or not do. When there is a place for me to go a door simply opens and I walk through. It seems rather immaterial how long I’ve felt I needed that door, any door, to open. He seldom feels it necessary to tell me that He plans to open a door. He merely asks me to trust Him and wait patiently, to believe and to hope that He is more keenly aware even than I of what I need.

With Katy, I’ve often found that I might miss the doors He’s opened if I don’t pause occasionally. It’s like a treasure hunt to find the hidden blessings in my life, and I start with wonder at the things that could have gone wrong and didn’t, the blessings that might have been withheld that weren’t. The very things of most worth are laid out for me to find, and He simply slides quietly away in the night. God is such a contrast to modern human philanthropists who engrave their names on their gifts.

In the quiet, reflective moments when I consider on the greatness of God to me, even in my extremity, I appreciate His humble kindness that permits me to believe I’ve done it all myself. With an absence of fanfare, he has silently been my greatest benefactor. A longer, richer suite of mercy plays counterpoint to my growing loyalty, a rich harmony balancing my life.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow. May I pause to hear the instruments of his love.

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