Christian Mindfulness: Reflecting God’s Love

When that happens, I know it’s time for me to sit up and listen. It’s usually the Lord speaking.

This week I’ve had synchronicity around the idea of growing so close to the Lord that I can reflect His love to others. As Mother Teresa always said, we start with the people in front of us. Yes, pray for others. But also become aware that God may ask you to be the answer to their prayers.

A devotional I got from Renovare by Jonathan R. Bailey said it best:

Spiritual formation begins and ends with love. … The way of Christ is not about earning righteousness or self-development. It’s the total transformation of the human personality into the likeness of Jesus Christ: body, mind, heart and soul.

When the Spirit awakens us with his love, we come to see ourselves utterly known and loved by God. There’s nothing we can do to make him love us more, and there’s nothing we can do to make him love us less.

Jonathan R. Bailey, “The Eternal Journey”

Five Ways to Open a Mindful Christian Morning

The best way to start your day is to practice the presence of Jesus as you wake up in bed. Here are five quick ways to bring Christian mindfulness to the first minutes of your morning.

  1. Choose a gentle alarm clock. For decades, I woke up to the sound of ocean waves in a sunrise simulation alarm clock similar to this one.
  2. Once your eyes are open, say: “This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.”
  3. Breathe deeply: In to the count of three. Hold for the count of four. Exhale for the count of five. Do this as needed until you feel centered, thanking God for the gift of breath.
  4. If you are sleeping beside a spouse, a child or even a pet, pray a prayer of gratitude for them.
  5. Listen to the sounds of the house and the world outside. Again thank God for the new day.

Resource: Peace Is Every Step

Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and world-renowned mindfulness teacher, has a strong, but streamlined, message. While this makes many of his books somewhat repetitive, “Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life” is one of the best.

The book has 5 stars with 971 ratings on Amazon and 4.3 stars with 27,191 ratings on GoodReads. If you only read one book by Thich Nhat Hanh, this is it.

Thich Nhat Hanh divided this book into three sections:

  • Breathe! You Are Alive
  • Transformation and Healing
  • Peace Is Every Step

Packed with mindfulness exercises, the book contains several ideas that especially spoke to me. He writes about the Eucharist as a practice of awareness of the presence of Christ, which it truly is.

He calls often for us to look more deeply, especially at people who we find repulsive. We do not know what we could have become had we lived that other person’s life, Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us.

What we need to work on is transforming ourselves into a light. “When you have become fresh and pleasant, the other person will notice soon,” he writes.

“When you begin to see that your enemy is suffering, that is the beginning of insight. When you see in yourself the wish that the other person would stop suffering, that is the beginning of real love.”

Amen to that. For other reviews on Christian mindfulness resources, click here.

What Is Hope?

Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.

Vaclav Havel

God is sovereign, even if we don’t understand what He is doing and fear the results. For more thoughts on hope in a time of pandemic and protest, click here.