Finding Faith: We meet God in those around us

"We have a relational God, and we come to know God in the people with whom we interact every day."

Devlyn Brooks 2021
Devlyn Brooks

Mary was almost through the automatic sliding doors before we had come to a full stop in my car.

I was bringing my mother to her three-month follow-up visit after the completion of her whirlwind 33 radiation treatments in late January, and the greeter who worked the door of the facility was as efficient as she’d always been in the two months mom was making her treatment trips.

I’m calling her “Mary,” a good and frequent biblical name, as I didn’t ask permission to write about her.

As Mary came through the doors and recognized my mother sitting in the passenger seat, her face exploded into a welcoming smile! … Now, you know it’s pure joy when you can determine a person is smiling behind a blue cotton medical mask!

A moment later, my mother’s own countenance lit up when she saw Mary as well. No words needed to be exchanged. The remarkable intimate bond the two had formed in the seven weeks my mom had visited the cancer center this winter needed no words.


“Would you like a wheelchair?” Mary asked my mother as I opened the passenger door. Already knowing the answer, Mary turned to retrieve one. Once she was back, and I had carefully helped my mom into the seat, the two were off to the inside.

I was an afterthought. It was beautiful. It was holy.

I like to say that we meet God in those around us. We have a relational God, and we come to know God in the people with whom we interact every day. I know for sure that my mother came face to face with God each of the 33 times she pulled up to the cancer center and Mary was there to welcome her.

This relationship had become extremely important to my mother, as during many trips for treatment she needed to use a ride service because my siblings and I weren’t available to bring her. So Mary had become a familiar and comforting presence in my mom’s daily routine for nearly two months.

The intervening three months between the end of my mom’s treatments and her follow-up appointment this past week had done nothing to dull the emotional bond that had developed between mom and Mary. Their mutual joy at reuniting was nothing less than divine.

God is still active in this world if we only pay close enough attention. The “Marys” of the world are proof of that. We just need to be able to see through the daily distractions to part the veil between this world and the kingdom of heaven.

“Mary” is too humble to recognize it, but I’m sure that if she were to turn around, there would be angel’s wings back there. … Thank you, “Mary” for your tremendous care and compassion you’ve shown our mother. Thank you for the glimpse of the divine right here on earth. … Amen.

Opinion by Devlyn Brooks
Devlyn Brooks is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and serves Faith Lutheran Church in Wolverton, Minn. He also works for Forum Communications Co. He can be reached at for comments and story ideas.
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