If God clothes the grass of the field with splendorous wildflowers, will he not more provide for you with much more? O you of little faith! (From Saturday's Gospel reading)
Reflection for Saturday: God's Abundant Help
Near the end of my sabbatical, on the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, I felt inspired to paint an image that would portray how each Divine Person of the Trinity assists us with our daily lives. As with previous paintings, I went into it with a vague idea, relying on the Holy Spirit, and watched a message reveal itself that I hope will minister to someone in their home or office.
This 16x20 painting is available to anyone who will pay shipping costs (about $50 in the US) and who explains to me why it ministers to them. If more than one person asks for it, the one with the strongest reason for having it will be chosen to receive it.
I posted it on my Facebook page and asked: "It's name is God's Abundant Help; can you identify all the symbolism?" The comments were fascinating.
Gift Nyirenda said, "The drawing is really illustrative, but very clear. Water is life, and we see the Holy Spirit depicted as water. The stony path before the cross is our stony heart that we carry with us before we meet Jesus Christ our saviour. Jesus removes the stony heart and gives us a heart of fresh in his ministry, that we carry to eternal life. The tree represents our hope, our life, our salvation. The green field is our body as naturally made, and the blue sky is our life giving breath. It is an amazing drawing."
Michael Kondor said, "Father is the tree of life. Cross is Jesus. Cross on the path -- 'I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.' Lake Holy Spirit and the graces of baptism. Clouds -- Old Testament God's voice from the clouds. Sunrise, resurrection. Earth, flowers, sky -- the Trinity's gift of creation."
Nancy Viola said, "The Holy Spirit water represents Baptism. The rocky road is what our life experiences until we connect our suffering with the Cross where, behind it, the road is smoothed out of the cross. The tree is the tree of Life that we will once again partake from because of Jesus opening reconciliation with the Father after the fall of mankind caused us to be kicked out of paradise where this tree ever grows. The Sun is the Father, lighting our path. The grass and the flowers are those products of our tears of regret, which are never wasted in God's eyes. It is a marvelous depiction of Holy Trinity Sunday. Thanks for sharing your creation with us."
Josephine Tan said, "Terry, this picture is truly full of beautiful symbols! I see the sun more as a symbol of the Trinity: created by God the Father, often associated with the Son of God and bringing us warmth and light through the Holy Spirit. And they are all one in unity!"
What do you see in it? How is God speaking to you?
Maria’s hunger for the Word
If you haven't seen her story yet, I’d like to introduce you to Maria — which is not her real name; she asked me to keep it secret due to dangers she faces. She says, “It is getting very nasty and scary.” As you read her story, keep in mind that her faith in God is what gets her through it all.
Maria lives in Central America on the banks of a beautiful river. She’s battling cancer, which has prevented her from working a job. By the grace of God, a friend donates one of the medications to her, and another friend gets a big discount on another prescription and has it delivered to Maria.
Maria thanks God that she has a home, despite the fact that it is tiny and has no electricity, no refrigeration, no water facilities. The night-time is lit by a small solar lamp that someone loaned to her. Once every ten days or so, she gets 10 gallons of water from a waterbus for drinking and cooking. She collects rain water to wash dishes and sometimes to cook. She collects river water to wash clothing, clean the house and bathe.
She says, “I am having lots of problems with a new neighbor and his guardian. They come in and steal what little I have. They took my identity papers. They menace me and threaten to rape me.” She recently sought help from the courts, but since the neighbor is rich and influential, the Justice of the Peace ruled against her. You can imagine how she feels.
Maria lives in the countryside and rarely gets to town. “There are ferocious battles.” She describes “very loud, obscene volumes of music, shots in the air, like a dark world led by the workers and servants that pretend to serve, yet abuse others.”
Then she adds, “Even church here is a mess.” (She’s Catholic.) “The doors are closed till Sunday. I am not accepted to teach the young, even though I studied with a priest. Only fifteen kids are catechized a year! There are hundreds of others in other denominations — daily.”
Through it all, she turns to God. “I only have God,” she says. “I have a monthly daily Mass book, but when I read your reflections, I learn, accompany God and understand. Your ministry is an oasis where I can refuge with God, hear his word, analyze it, go profound.” Good News Ministries has been making a huge difference to her. She says that she hopes more people will donate to this ministry so that it continues. “God is all I’ve got,” she explains, “At times, when I was ready to call it quits, THE LORD sent me your email. You have always opened your doors for me, even more so when I am beat, hungry and tired.”
If you make a donation today, you can continue to serve Maria and uncounted others around the world. Many cannot support this ministry except by their prayers. Those who can and do help through financial support are serving all of these precious children of God. I beg you today to keep this going.
We need to put an end to our monthly shortfall. Each month costs $6000 more than we receive in donations (and believe me, we operate with smaller salaries and fewer expenses than most organizations). Last December’s fund raiser fell too far short of the goal. It will get us only through August at the current rate of monthly support. Heaven forbid!
Those who have already made the commitment of a recurring monthly donation are some of our best champions. Even small monthly donations become helpful when they add up over time. But unless the Lord graces us with full monthly coverage, the mid-year boost we need in one-time gifts is $35,000.