This Lent, be still and know

by Father Bert Miller

StoriesOfFaith

(Pete Bellis on Unsplash)

On Valentine’s Day this year, we begin Lent. It is the cleansing time of our life. Growing up, many of us gave up candy, television, movies, and every kind of entertainment.

As we grow older, we know these are temporary fixes at best. Maybe we have tried different things, like adding one good thing to our lives each day – maybe listening more.

A friend of mine, Rebecca, tells this story about listening to people.

Rebecca says she was out shopping at a mall. After hours of looking in the store windows, touching the fabric of dresses and trying on clothes, she was exhausted. She sat down on a comfortable bench near a fountain.

Two other women were seated across from her, discussing various Christmas presents they’d bought. One was playing with her key chain that hung around her wrist.

The other woman finally asked about the bracelet that secured the keychain to the woman’s arm. She observed that it was homemade.

“Yes,” the woman said. “I got it as a Christmas present from my daughter. She makes items like this.” It was made out of plastic and yarn. Into the plastic was woven words. The other woman asked what it said.

Surprised that the woman had such an interest in this bracelet, she said, “Be still and know.” She smiled. Her eyes seemed to twinkle.

The other woman squinted and shook her head and observed that it did not seem to be a whole sentence or thought. She finally said, “Know what?”

The woman with the prized possession said, “You know.” The other woman thought some more and then said, “I do not know.”

The woman held up the bracelet and said, “God. Be still and know God.”

The other woman said, “I would never have thought of that. My mind just does not go there.”

The woman with the bracelet was surprised, but seemed to mask her emotion. The conversation went on to other things.

Rebecca said she was surprised by the other woman’s inability to identify God.

Rebecaa told me she assumes everyone is Christian and God is top on their minds. Through this other woman, she learned her view is not always true.

She listened and learned something – not everyone shares our Christian viewpoints on God.

And this could bring us to deeper prayer during Lent.

You might try to just “be still and know.”

Father Bert Miller serves as pastor at St. Mary’s Catholic in Park River and St. Luke’s Church in Veseleyville.

Editor’s note: Stories of Faith is a recurring feature in New Earth. If you have a faith story to tell, contact Father Bert Miller at bert.miller@fargodiocese.org.