The Catholic Parish of
Saint John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

Seeing The Face Of God

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A newspaper photographer was in Ecuador in 1987 covering the earthquake that devastated many areas of the country. In the midst of this catastrophe, he witnessed something that touched him deeply. There was a line of people at a food distribution point and while the line was quite long, it was moving briskly and people were patiently waiting their turn in the queue. In that line at the very end stood a young girl about twelve years old. She waited patiently as those in front of the line received a little rice, some canned food or fruit. Slowly but surely she was getting close to the front of the line, closer to the food. She did not notice the growing concern on the faces of those distributing the food. The food was running out and their anxiety began to show, but she did not notice as her attention always seemed to focus on three young children sitting under a tree across the street.

At long last she stepped forward to get her food, but the only thing left was a lonely banana. The workers felt most ashamed, but she didn't seem to mind. Quietly she took the banana and ran across the street where the three small children were waiting. Very deliberately she peeled the banana and carefully divided it into three equal parts and placed the precious food into eager waiting hands of the young children. Then she sat down beside them and carefully licked the inside of the banana peel.

Reflecting on this scene, the photographer said, "In that moment, I swear I saw the face of God."

"To see the face of God," is a very ancient phrase that occurs many times in the Bible. The photographers story reminds us that the presence of God is all around us in the most ordinary of experiences; "Where charity and love are found, God is present there." We can see the face of God in many precious moments in our daily lives. Such moments can be joyful and happy or they may be dark and lonely times. One can discover God in an act of kindness or even in just a hug when you are feeling down. For most people there are no shining lights or visions, but just a gentle touch of God that awakens our hearts to his abiding presence in the ordinary events and experiences of life.

My little story this week was kindly provided by Jim Cohen.

Published Sat 26th Aug 2017 01:50:09
Last Modified on Sat 26th Aug 2017 02:48:48

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