By Sr. Margaret D’Mello –
When I was asked to put down a few lines on how I meet God, I started wondering. Meeting God? I mused. I am already existing in Him. I live, I move and have my being in God! That’s it. You heard it right. Nothing “religious” about it; just stating the reality that is.
There have been numerous occasions when I have tangibly felt God’s awesome Presence. One of them goes like this. On the day before my Post-doctoral Examinations, my other two colleagues were already put up in a five star hotel in the city of Pondicherry, with their proximate as well as their extended families. Thanks to the extreme generosity of some precious friends, I was gratefully accommodated in a guest house. However, I was quite alone. I got busy, getting ready for the following day. That night I surrendered everything to the Lord and had a restful sleep.
The next morning, we arrived at the magnificent JIPMER Hospital. Once again, as I walked through the huge corridors, I felt lost. In a little while, I spotted my colleagues accompanied by their family members. We sat around a table waiting to be called to the examination hall. My married colleagues described how all through the previous day and that morning their spouses were so caring towards them, in all their understandable tension and irritation. At first I thought: They have their spouses and family members to support them, whereas I am all alone.
But, as I sat there listening, I smiled. I was engulfed by a strange but pleasant feeling, accompanied by this thought, “Yeah, your family and spouses can only get this far, but my Spouse Jesus can walk with me through the corridors and into the examination hall.” The examination was not easy, but confidence surged within me. I gained control of myself and walked to meet the next moment. The tough examination protocols lasted through the day, up to almost 9.30 pm. At the end of it all, I knew I had won the battle. To add to this awareness, as I was getting ready to leave, the Warden in charge of the exam hall walked towards me, and told me, “Doctor, you have made it successfully! You now have the licence to serve the poor in your chosen field.” Oh! Such moments of exhilaration come only occasionally; but, when they do, they leave an indelible mark. This particular experience left me forever grateful to the Author of my life. This moment was sacred. God made me feel his presence powerfully.
This Presence had gone with me many a time before. Here is one experience.
One day, when I was a student, a Muslim colleague, who knew my zest in pursuing the Post-doctoral course in Cardiology, asked me, “Margaret, we work this hard to earn some money, achieve fame, and to make our families comfortable. What is it that drives you, a Religious Sister, to do this?” Without much hesitation I told him, “I do it for a wealth more precious than money—the wealth of having found the Source of all good. I do it, not for a nuclear family, but for a larger family, that is, the people I serve; I do it, not for fame, but to accomplish the purpose of my existence.” This interpretation flowed from deep within me. That was God’s prompting, I believe.
I could go on and on, recounting how God always showed up in my encounters with patients whom I had the privilege to treat. Many a time it would happen that I would reach a patient’s bedside unexpectedly—just when that patient was most in need of me.
Some vivid examples: One of my patients, who was doing well, had developed a pneumothorax (air in the lung cavity) suddenly in the wards; another patient was asphyxiating due to aspiration; still another getting a seizure—with no one around! In each case, I reached in time, although visiting that patient was not on my schedule. I could give many such occurrences when my timely presence was life-saving. I can categorically say that at such moments I was an extension of God to those who were in need. To be at the right place at the right time! Now this is what only God can plan and execute with precision!
Friends, the same God who steps in every moment and reroutes our history carries us through everything we may face. If you are hurting in any way or finding life an endless drudgery, I want you to know that the disappointments and failures in your past cannot overcome God’s purposes for your life. We trust His promise—that God is with us and in us. Let the hand of God work in and through you, as you become a champion in your walk of faith.
No wonder there are times when a spontaneous prayer of thanks bursts forth from my heart, and I say, “O God, thank you for the joy of being yours!”
Yes, it is a joy and privilege to belong to God. We are His. Every moment.
In this deeper sense, we do not have to meet God. We may be present or absent, but not God. God is Presence—loving, tender, powerful, never-failing. I am never alone.
Sr. Margaret D’Mello belongs to the Congregation of the Immaculate Conception. Profession: Cardiologist. Practicing in Chennai. Loves reading and music besides practice of Medicine.
This article is used with permission from: CRI Magnet