Need Some Affirmation Today? Look No Further…

“In the beginning was the Word and the Word became flesh…” This is how John’s Gospel opens. In that Word was the totality of Being, the Alpha and the Omega of creation. In it was that unconditional love that contained the “Big Bang” and the soul of every human being that ever was or ever will be. It was all pure gift.

I published a poem on this site several months ago in which I imagined the Word that was spoken by God at the beginning of time was the word, “YES!” I imagined that that word expressed all of God’s love and was His ultimate affirmation of all of creation, of time and space and of all of us. In that sense I would say that God has already provided for all of creation, that all of creation and life is a God-given gift, that every life is filled with the breath of God’s Yes.

In the book of Genesis we are told that on the 6th day God tenderly molded an image from the clay by the river and that He bent over that clay image putting his mouth over its mouth and breathed life into it and it became man. That man lived in the Garden with the woman God fashioned from his rib and they knew God in the face. In time they fell from grace and were turned out of the garden to suffer that loss of Eden and to experience all of what we know as human joy and human suffering, even death.

But God never abandoned His children, not even when his children turned away from him again and again. He remained true to his children, provided them with manna in the desert, liberation from captivity, and His commandments. Finally, He sent his only Son, Jesus, to live among us, to suffer with us, and to die for us. Everything He has done He has done for us as pure gift. He has provided everything to us already and He continues to provide without condition.

How do we say thank you for these pure gifts that come from God’s undivided, unconditional love for us? Let me give an example. Think of your grandmother who dresses in her warmest clothes to catch the bus downtown to buy you a Christmas gift. She picks something out and catches the bus back home where she lovingly wraps the gift with her arthritic fingers. All of this she does with the image of you in her mind. Then she brings it to your house on Christmas Day. You open it and it is a wild shirt, or blouse that is not your style, but you can see the love in her eyes looking at you as you take it out of the box. How do you say thank you? You put it on. You wear it proudly. You don’t have to wear it to work, or to school, but when you know she is coming over to your house, put it on so that when you answer her knock at your door she will see you in it.

How do we say thank you to God, then, for all He has provided for us? We thank Him by living in accord with his Word, by forgiving those who trespass against us, by caring for the least of our brothers and sisters when they are hungry, or thirsty, or ill, or in jail. We thank Him on our knees for our lives, for our spouses, our children, our friends, and we thank Him on our feet by loving them as Jesus loved us by being present to them, by serving them, by helping them in the good times and in the bad.

Yes, God will provide even now. He will provide his grace to those who open their hearts to it, to those who submit to His will of love. The only hands, the only face that Jesus has to offer to others now is ours. We are to be His hands and faces to all those we encounter in the world we live in the here and now. God will provide all that we need if we choose willingly to be His hands and His face today. Amen!

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site blog.