‘Mindfulness’ is kind of a buzzword these days. It is a technique for slowing down, being in the present moment, paying attention to what is going on inside and around you.
Last month I tripped while hiking and fell hard, straight forward onto my hands, slamming my chest and forehead.
Nothing was broken but my ribcage was sore for several weeks, so when I went hiking with Jake, I couldn’t chat happily with him like normal because I had to practice what I called ‘Mindful Hiking’ – – – I had to talk to myself, to remind myself to pay attention to the rocks and the roots on the trail.
It was different, a solemn hike, and it was good.
The other day I was with my 2 y.o. grandgirl, helping her look for her toy purse she ‘needed.’ She wanted my undivided attention. “Come on, Gramma,” she said, as we dug through her toy box. “Focus. Focus, Gramma.”
This Christmastime I have been trying to focus, to be more ‘mindful.’
Not of my feet, to keep from falling, nor to find something lost.
I don’t mean being quiet to look at what’s going on inside and around me.
I am trying to be mindful of God’s mindfulness.
The Bible uses the word ‘mindful’ in Psalms 8, v 4, “What is man that You (God) are mindful of him?”
Isn’t that a boggling thought? God is ‘mindful’ of us.
He pays attention to us.
He is focused on us.
Isn’t this what we celebrate at Christmas? God, being mindful of us, saw our needs, and sent Jesus to save us.
And God continues to be mindful of us; He keeps seeing our needs and keeps sending Jesus’ Spirit to help us.
So, this Christmas I’ve been grateful for God’s mindfulness . . .
. . . as I sat at a sad and glorious memorial service for a dear friend last week.
. . . as I eat cookies and wrap gifts, thinking of His many sweet gifts to me. (especially the proximity of Daughter #4’s family and a grandson coming in February! Woohoo!)
. . . as I pray for my friend’s family. (Her cousin committed suicide; the funeral is today.)
. . . as I remember the old faces and the broken bodies in the retirement home, where we sang carols.
. . . as I look forward to traveling on Christmas Day to be with my dear dad.
. . . as I grieve for the three men friends who lost their wives this year.
. . . as I sit here on the couch, coughing and cancelling plans.
What a comfort it is to think that God is mindful of each situation.
He is Immanuel, God with us, everywhere.
With me here, and with each of these people in my thoughts.
In my lowly opinion, I think we can say with Mary,
“My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.”
Just as God was mindful of Mary — He noticed her and looked with favor on her — I believe He is mindful of us, looking on all of us with grace.
For me, this has been a different Christmas, solemn, and good: A mindful Christmas.
And my spirit is rejoicing in God my Savior for His mindfulness.