Have you ever had emotions, stress, routine, or worry so take over your life that it dulls your senses and you somehow become oblivious to the world around you? This happens to me all the time. A few weeks ago, I was in the grocery store trying to rush through the aisles as quickly as I could, I had such an experience. I was searching for the last item on my list, a jar of horseradish, and I was pacing the aisles having the most difficult time figuring out where it might be. I must have passed the same person twice before I heard “Maddie’s mom?”.
I was shocked out of my stupor and it was as if my eyes were opened to the fact that the woman I was passing was the assistant director of Maddie’s daycare. I didn’t recognize her in those moments. I was too fixated on my current situation, the stress of the moment and the task at hand. Sometimes in life there are those situations, experiences, or tasks that we fixate on and in those moments we can think of nothing else and we miss out on seeing God and the miracle that is standing right before our eyes.
This is exactly what the disciples were going through. They were so focused on the events earlier that day that they couldn’t recognize the man they had spent the last 3 years with day and night. Christ was somehow out of place and they didn’t see him. Their minds, emotions, and lives had been through so much turmoil in the past week that they could not see the work of God happening, until Christ revealed himself in the breaking of bread.
For many of us, the stresses of the world, the stresses of our new realities, or just our normal jobs and family lives leave us so hyper-focused on our needs that we miss out on the wonders happening right before our eyes and we are left wondering, “Where is God”. Our lives can be overwhelming. Our emotional turmoil can overcome us to the point where we don’t even recognize that which we would have known at any other time in our lives. So if you are looking for big miracles or are wondering where God is in this time of unprecedented world need, you need to look no further than the way our basic needs are being cared for and the people in our lives.
God works in the simplest ways to speak to us and to reveal the new world order that he would like us to enact. We are told by Paul that we are to live Godly lives. This does not mean not to make mistakes. That is not unattainable. This simply means to reach out to one another in care and kindness and to help spread the love of God by caring for one another’s basic needs. This is why Christ taught that we should feed and clothe those who are in need because that is what God did through Christ. Christ offers us sustenance through one another. If we can offer each other comfort through fulfilling the basic needs of life then Christ can offer the spiritual sustenance that everyone needs to be successful in life.
So remember that Christ can be revealed in some the most mundane things in life, look for him there. Live into his work by caring for one another. By offering to provide for each other’s needs, so we are freed from the constraints of the stresses of this world to interact with the holy in ways that can strengthen our spiritual understanding of our relationship with God. For I believe that Gandhi was right when he wrote, “There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread”. We need to care for one another in order to help one another to realize their potential, in order to help lead one another towards living Godly lives themselves.
We need to do as Henry David Thoreau instructs, “Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around”. We can still change the world simply by living into the teachings of Jesus. We can still change the world, especially in this time of need, simply by freeing one another from the fog that prevents humanity from seeing Christ present in the now. So remember what our scriptures tell us, “Then they (the disciples) told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.” Once their physical needs were taken care of suddenly their fog of stress was lifted and they were able to see the truth of God before them and they then went forth to live more fully into the message of the risen Christ, into the teachings of Christ offering love and care to a world equally in need. In so doing, we can finally work to do as Thoreau said. We can begin to change the world. This is the time to allow love to change our world especially during this time of need. Let’s use this time of need to unite people and not to divide this world further. Let’s care for one another, and in so doing offer hope of a better tomorrow to all who seek. This is how we can live into the message of Christ and in so doing find the hope that we need in our lives as well.
 Mahatma Ghandi, 20th century.
 Henry David Thoreau, 19th century essayist.
 Luke 24: 35, NRSV.