Friday, November 4, 2011

God's Temple

I hit the jackpot at the grocery store. There were at least four kiosks with hot free samples. One was lobster ravioli! I hadn't had lunch yet so this bonanza was quite welcome. I moved on from the lobster ravioli to lentil soup with fresh vegetables. While sipping my soup, the saleswoman at the free buffet said, "That is a beautiful sweater!"
I smiled. I get comments on this sweater all the time. It is my multicolored alpaca sweater that was made by starving Bolivians. It is my favorite sweater, not only because by buying it, I helped poor people, but it is also beautiful bright colors and has a warm fuzzy ruff around my neck.
"Thank you," I told her, "I do love this sweater!"
"I am knitting a sweater for my mother," said the woman, stroking the soft yarn of my sweater arm.
This surprised me because I am pretty sure the woman was not a day under 70. She was mighty fortunate to still have a mother living.
"And my granddaughter watches me. She wants to make one now, but I tell her, you have to start know, like a scarf."
"Good advice," I said. I was pretty sure if I stood there long enough she would offer me more lentil soup, which was steamy and delicious.
"The sweater I am knitting is bright like this one, and soft! oh my , it is soft! You see my mother is 93 years old. She can't do much any more, but she will be able to feel that soft sweater around her neck."
I touched the woman's shoulder, "You are a good daughter."
She looked up and pointed  upward, "I've been blessed."
"I know just what you mean," I smiled, "I feel exactly the same."

Encounters like this happen to me often. I call them "divine encounters."  Someone I meet has just the perfect message of hope, kindness, faith, encouragement, gentleness, and love.

God works this way quite regularly in my life. In the most commonplace circumstances, the simplest least conspicuous sorts of people send me a glimpse of  the divine nature within. We are told in the Bible that we are the temple of God. Frankly, I often find that a little hard to believe. If I were God, I wouldn't want to reside in such a grumpy, selfish, materialistic, irritable, harried temple. But an old woman knitting a soft sweater to ease the aches and pains of an even older mother, training her granddaughter unconsciously in acts of kindness, and doing so out of gratitude for the blessing of life....well now that's a temple I wouldn't mind settling in.

1 Corinthians 3: 16
16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?

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