Every summer I look forward to spending time at the beach with my family. The beach is a beautiful place where I can see, hear, and experience the majestic, wonderful and astonishing work of God. I love to wake up and see the sunrise, to be a witness of the new day that God is creating before my eyes. As I witness that beautiful work of art, I often think about the creation story. I am reminded about the presence of the Spirit of God hovering over the waters, creating the universe, and giving form to what was formless.

The Spirit is still hovering, is still creating and giving life every day to all creation. While I am at the beach I feel alive. I strongly feel the presence of God,; giving me life, renewing my mind and my soul. Every sense, every cell of my body is connected with God. When a wave comes to the shore and touches me, I am reminded of the opportunities I have that day to get wet, and be part of what it is being created.

Every 24 hours, a sunrise happens.  There is nothing that can stop it. I can decide to participate or not. I can set the alarm, wake up, walk to the beach and be part of the new day that is being formed. God’s Grace and love for us is like this sunrise — it is always happening and nothing can stop it. We decide if we want to be awakened to be part of it or if we want to continue to be asleep and miss the work of God that is happening all around us.

Miracles happen every day. The presence of the Spirit is moving, showing us the signs of the redemptive work of God around us, but many continue to miss the astonishing work of God in our midst! Why are we still missing all the alarms which are sounding loudly, calling us to wake up?

Jesus performed miracles and many discovered who he was.  Many woke up and became participants of his work of redemption, but many did not. I wonder what alarms have been sounding around us and we continue to hit snooze.

Many years ago, I was part of a prayer group that was praying constantly for the healing of a very sick woman. Time passed and she was becoming more ill. Many of us, even with her health failing, were standing on the promise that healing was possible. Many others were losing their faith. It was astonishing to see hope diminished. This was an alarm to me, that woke me up to see a new sunset that God was providing to me.

One night after our prayer meetings, I approached the Pastor and asked bluntly: “Why do you think God is not answering our prayer?” I was asking this because many were speculating and talking nonsense, just like those we find in the Gospel of John 9:1-2. The pastor touched my shoulder, “Who is saying God is not responding your prayers?” He said, “Marcela, death is the ultimate healing!” I looked at him, puzzled, “What?” He repeated his statement, we sat still, in silence for a bit, and then I said, “Ok, I need to think more about this.” I went home thinking about it. What he was saying was too deep for me, like the ocean. It was impossible to grasp and understand, too complicated for my weak faith; I was not awake yet. I was asleep, but I wanted to wake up.

It took me years to understand and experience the astonishing gift of Grace, the miracle of eternal life, to believe that there was nothing separating me from the love and redemption of God. Not even my own blindness, my unbelief, my doubts. God is constantly inviting us to be awakened to the new mercies, the new hope that is brewing before our eyes. Do not hit snooze. Be a part of the astonishing work of salvation this Lent.