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Commentary: Signs of God’s presence are all around us, if we just look

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As I walked by Kenrose Elementary School and Ravenwood High School Monday afternoon and saw children sledding down the hills, memories of my own children — bundled up while going up and down the hill again and again — flooded my mind. 

You know who was right there with them? Me. I loved sledding with the children. 

You know what I loved even more, especially when they became teens? Snow days. They gave me time with them to relax, play and listen to them laugh. Oh, how I miss those days. 

Watching the joy children were having as they were sledding brought a smile to my cold face. What made me smile even more was seeing families together playing. 

I wanted to tell them to enjoy every moment. 

I blinked, and that season of life is now behind me. 

A little ice storm couldn’t stop me from taking a walk with my husband. Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, I have enjoyed our daily walks. As the seasons have passed, I’ve noticed nature more and what surrounds me during our walks. 

We’ve started challenging each other to find God in nature. On Monday afternoon, just before sunset, we had just passed under the Wilson Pike overpass, and as my husband was looking at an electric pole, I turned and saw something I had missed every time before: an old power pole in the shape of a cross covered in brush. 

With Wednesday being the beginning of Lent, it felt like a powerful reminder of how we so often miss signs of God’s presence. 

I am thankful to have had a pandemic teach me to slow down and appreciate the beauty with which God has surrounded us. 

Even though I am in a new season of life and the nest is emptier, this old girl still loves to sled. And with that, dear readers, my new role as aunt to neighborhood children begins with a sled on a hill. 

One last thought: I wrote this for a Lenten devotion for our church. The word “quarantine” has been thrown around a lot lately. But, think of Lent like a quarantine. Take away the distractions of secular life and use the 40 days to walk closer with Christ. 

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