Three weeks ago today, I was wheeled into the operating room at Phoenix Children's Hospital. For the next three hours, a talented team of Doctors, Physician Assistants, nurses and technologists took care of me, made sure I was safe, and ultimately gave me the gift of a healthier heart.

I am incredibly grateful, and I think it's very important to be thankful for the wonderful blessings I've been given. However, I think that often, I keep these gifts to myself, and erroneously believe that these wonderful blessings were only meant for me. But friends, God's love isn't meant to be kept to ourselves. As I was thinking about this, I was reminded of an image that was introduced to me this summer at Notre Dame Vision:

The image is of two cupped hands receiving water. For the receiver to collect any water at all, his or her hands must be open. And, ironically, when the hands are full of water, the water also overflows continuously out of the hands. God's grace is like this water: To be fully able to receive God's grace and His blessings we must also be open to giving those blessings away, letting them overflow out of our hands.

So today, as I think about the blessings I've been given and the grace that continues to overflow in my life, I try to keep these hands in mind.

  • Today, I pray, as always, in thanksgiving for the team of physicians that gave me the gift of a healthier heart. But I also pray for that patient who, right now, is being wheeled into the operating room to receive a gift such as the one I was given. I pray for this unknown patient, that he or she might experience the calm that I felt right before going under. 
  • I pray for the many patients I saw in the CVICU who, unlike me, didn't get to leave the hospital. I think about the children I saw who wore masks on their faces, and who were undoubtedly waiting for a heart or a lung transplant. They eagerly, and most likely with anxiety, wait for the gift of life they may or may not ever experience. But yet, they wait in hope. And so I too, wait in hope for them. 
  • I pray in gratitude for my own family, for my friends and for my loved ones, who have been Christ's hands and feet to me. But I also pray that I might be a witness of God's selfless love to them, in my own actions and words. 
  • I pray that I might acknowledge and be grateful of the life, of the light I have been given. But I also pray that I might always be a mediator of that light. I ask to be a mediator of the grace that flows from God, through me, to others. I pray that I might always have my hands open, so that the grace that flows into my hands might also overflow from me and be a blessing to others. 

Grace overflows...are your hands open or closed? 


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