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Our readersDecember 01, 2023
A woman gardens (Photo from iStock)

God’s presence can so often be found through interactions with others. In personal healing or in an experience of community through prayer, God is there. We asked readers to share stories of surprising moments of faith in no more than 100 words. In these (very) short essays, they explain how they experienced God through these situations. They demonstrate how other people will show God’s existence in real life.

One beautiful May day, I knew the closeness of the Lord during all-school Mass at St. Theresa Catholic School. A moment in time in which my Creator God and I were connected through the high voices of children singing, “Jesus, you are so precious to me. Jesus, tú eres precioso para mí.” We’re a community in which our differences are apparent; students with big brown eyes and jet-black hair go to school with students who are blonde and blue-eyed. Together, in verses in English and Spanish, we told the Lord that he is the most important person in our lives.
Kristy Dunn
Little Rock, Ark.

I was in my mid-30s, 5 years sober, and seeking pastoral help and guidance from a Catholic priest. I was working on healing regarding childhood sexual abuse, bullying and also the loss of a child. I was very scared before meeting with this priest, and hesitated a great deal before going. I knocked on the door of the rectory and just as he opened it I internally heard the words: “This is right. There’s something for you here.” We met several times after that, and it was extremely powerful and healing for me. God gave me the courage I needed.
Amie Schumacher
Waite Park, Minn.

I was a skeptical and reluctant participant in Memphis Cursillo 87, table of St. Paul. If nothing else, I looked forward to a couple days of quiet. At the opening session, the chaplain proclaimed the baptism of Jesus with the closing line, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” I had heard this reading hundreds of times, unmoved,, but this time I shivered and tears welled up. It hit me: I too am God’s beloved son, and despite my skepticism, apathy and shortcomings, he is pleased with me! This unexpected revelation has made all the difference.
Rob Marczynski
Mount Juliet, Tenn.

I too am God’s beloved son, and despite my skepticism, apathy and shortcomings, he is pleased with me!

Embittered by rejection for a job, I harbored retaliatory thoughts. Distraught, I went to confession and told the priest my bitter story. He responded, “I had a similar experience.” I demanded that he tell me the details. The similarities were striking. He said, “I prayed for the one who got the job, and for those who made the decision, and my bitterness evaporated, and I was at peace.” Afterward, I prayed with the same intention. My heart melted; I found peace. Subsequently, I applied for another job and got it, and it was better than the first.
Don Killgallon
Baltimore, Md.

I accepted the invitation to work on a project to remove invasive porcelain berry at Cranbrook Garden. The plant’s seeds are distributed by birds. When young, they are small plants, but as they mature, they become a tangled net covering trees and shrubs. The first stage of the invasion is at the edges; along paths and at the fringes of the woods. 

As I worked, I reflected on the risk posed by letting small worries, minor misdeeds and little hurts grow into a similar tangle. So much better to recognize and root out these failings in the Daily Examen.
Sharon Roy
Birmingham, Mich.

Spring 2020, Covid spread. Schools shuttered. Colleagues called. “What can we do? How can we help? Families in southeast Canton are hungry, isolated.”
Needs explored. Committed to provide prepared weekend family meals. Team mobilized.
Outside in the elements, masked, gloved, greeting weary families, providing meals, notes of encouragement. “Who made those biscuits? Reminded me of my mother.” “Fresh fruit and salad, thanks, we can’t afford those.” “God bless you for being with us every week.“ Tears shed. Surprise Mothers’ Day carnations. Care-worn moms brighten. “No one has given me flowers for 10 years.” 
Sister Carolyn Capuano, H.M.
Canton, Ohio

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