What Touches You?

My silent prayer time had come to an end. The Lord had left me with one question as I opened my eyes and shifted my body.

“What really touches you?”

In other words, what do I see or experience that reaches the core of my soul? Not just something that makes me smile, like the sight of a little kitten. But sights and sounds that resonate deeply. The things that stir the God-place in me and make me feel a unity with the world and it’s maker. Sometimes it’s a fleeting feeling, like quick puff of wind. Other times it’s a longer and more peaceful, like ceaseless waves that curl and roll over me.

I know it when I feel it. But naming what causes this feeling of union wasn’t easy. But I finally could list a few things. Reverence. A slow, thoughtful sign of the cross. The head in hands in the pew after everyone else is gone. The person reading a faith-based book on a park bench. A mother teaching her child to pray. A woman guiding her elderly mother down the aisle to find that brand of makeup she always uses.

Witnessing these things is like finding hidden gifts of love tucked into the hour shaped folds of my day. They bring tears to my eyes. I feel so inspired by the faith and kindness of these moments. Because honestly, life can look a lot different.

Outside the walls of church on Sunday, lies a world that moves like a streaking arrow from the morning alarm buzz to the nightly news. Being busy is not a bad thing. Busy people are often the most effective. But what troubles me is the often self absorbed attitude in all that activity. The lane changing to move up one more car length. The rush to the newly opened cash register. Even the dash home from church can lead to some “me first” moves in the parking lot. These attitudes are not going to touch my soul and make me soar.

That person on the park bench reading is showing me that there are many, many people who want to do better. Who want to try harder. The man in the pew is showing me that there are many, many people who realize they are at the end of what they can do. It’s time to hand it all over to God. And that’s hard. But he’s ready for the struggle.

Everyday things. But I don’t seem to see them very often. Probably because I’m distracted by the ordered and not-so-ordered chaos around me. Maybe that’s why the experiences so precious. These simple acts of kindness and faith touch me in a way that’s hard to describe. It’s like my heart fuses to my soul in that one solitary moment. I see heaven on earth. I see ‘thy will be done.’

What touches you?

 

Surrounded by the Spirit on Facebook

Linking today with: Sharing His Beauty, and Unforced Rhythms

 

 

74 thoughts on “What Touches You?

    • Hi Dayle! I completely forgot about nature! I do love walks in the forest and ocean waves…thank you for reminding me of those.

      Have a wonderful, God-touched day!
      Ceil

  1. It’s so true that in the busy rush of everyday life we tend to let so much pass us by without noticing it.

    This was obvious to me one day when I took the car for a service at a garage a mile or so away. On the way back, I decided to walk. This gave me the opportunity to admire so many front gardens of all the different houses. Different flowers, bushes, trees, some had even small statues or garden gnomes. I’d driven up and down that road many times and never noticed any of this.

    God has made this world for us to enjoy, not endure. We miss so much by rushing through it.

    Thanx Ceil for another thoughtful post. Very timely.

    God bless.

    • Hi Victor! So true! We should enjoy what God has given us, down to the very smallest garden gnome. I know I can rush through my day and miss the treasures that the Lord had planned for my enjoyment. I pray I’ll slow down and rejoice in them 🙂

      Have a wonderful God-touched day!
      Ceil

  2. So right, Ceil! It is great to see the touches of humanity as we go about our day to day business. It is disheartening when so many people are “me first” types and let this direct their actions. So what touches me is when I am in a store and I see the clerk be extra nice and patient with the elderly or when I am getting on to the city bus and someone notices I am tired and gives me a seat or the driver asks people to wait until I get off (I’m not that old, lol). I also love to see a young mom go by with her little one in a pram or a stroller or a young father carrying his baby in a papoose on his stomach and cradling his/her head. I like to see people of all ages reading a small NT on their way to work or strangers smiling at one another. It’s always amazing and disappointing to me when the odd person doesn’t respond with friendliness to the chit chat of a stranger but they are few and far between. You just never know what those people are dealing with. Have a wonderful day Ceil.xx

    • Hi Joyful! Well you make a good point about people who have large challenges and being attentive to God and neighbor is just too heavy a burden. Thank you for that.

      It reminds me to be more loving and not get saddened by people who may not want to engage in conversation, or give up their bus seat. Maybe it’s the best thing that’s happened to them that day.

      Wonderful perspective Joyful. Thank you again!
      Ceil

  3. When I started reading this, prior to reaching the paragraph that had your list, I couldn’t quite put words to it. And then I read your list and was, yes! yes! and yes! For me, it’s when a little two year old looks up to her big brother and really needs him to help her and the love he gives back in response. Pure and tender. Oh! To be like little children!

    • Hi Patty! It’s hard to put into words at first, isn’t it? Then once you get started it begins to flow. I really related to the comments about nature, and for your children being kind to one another. I just never thought of those things!

      We need to help each other remember the wonderful ways God reaches out to touch us. Pure and tender, just like him. Just like you said!

      Loved your response my friend 🙂
      Ceil

    • Aren’t you funny!! Maybe not the first, but right up there 🙂 You have to get over here a little earlier to beat Dayle. She’s a wily one!!

      I am laughing writing this…my husband wants to know what’s so funny!
      Ceil

  4. Ceil, coming here and reading…really taking the time to reflect on what you’ve shared…it is a part of what touches me. The Lord uses you to bring the heavenly to us through every day happenings. I love you for allowing Him to use you in that fashion.

    My husband’s words to me this morning as he was departing for work. I’d had a bad sore throat over the weekend…before he left this morning he came over to give me a kiss goodbye and as he was about to go out the door he said, “that’s better…that’s what makes my day. Now I don’t think something is missing.” It all touched me.

    Seeing young parents who genuinely enjoy their children. Parenting is not easy, but I love seeing consistency in the training of children.

    Listening to the birds and enjoying God’s creation all around me.

    Just a few of the things that touch me. 🙂

    • Hi Dianna! Aww…thank you for your lovely comment about coming over here. And your husband is such a sweet man, that would touch me too! (Hope you are feeling better.)

      You are so right about parenting. It is wonderful to see really patient parents, especially mid- kid meltdown. What grace at work that is.

      Thank you for sharing the things that touch you! I pray that God will share these with you today 🙂
      Ceil

  5. Hello Ceil. I hope you are feeling better. You beautifully capture the difference between a hurried life and a life of slowing down seeing God’s beauty. I know I am easily distracted too. I think it takes being intentional…that slowing down to see and allowing our hearts to be touched. For some reason I keep falling off from counting His graces. When I’m counting I’m not as easily distracted. Ummm. Time to try again. What touches me daily though? Honestly, the sound of my husband’s voice. I can’t get enough of it. 🙂 I pray I remember how precious that sound is to me when he is back home. Much love. xoxo

    • Hi Beth! That is so true. Slowing down enough to be intentional and watch and be aware of the moments God calls us to see.

      Love that sweet thought of your husband’s voice. I’m so glad we live in the age of Skype! But hearing it in person? That will be an amazing day.
      Hugs to you my friend,
      Ceil

    • Hi Pam! Thank you so much for your encouragement.

      I forgot about those toddler hugs. They are wonderful 🙂 One of the best things about being a Nana!
      Blessings,
      Ceil

  6. Hi Ceil
    So many things touch me but one thing that never fails is nature as God is such a part of nature, I find such peace just sitting in my back yard listening to the birds sing and looking at the green grass.
    It’s the simple things that touch me, my granddaughter’s smile, my husband’s kind eyes that tell me he loves me.

    I could go on but I have to get going on my day.
    Wishing you a wonderful day.

    I enjoyed this post…. thank you.

    • Hi Margie! Thank you! I’m so glad you liked the post.

      I am not surprised that you can think of so many things that touch your heart and soul. It always comes out in your poems. You write about what touches you all the time!
      Enjoy your day with your special granddaughter 🙂
      Ceil

    • Hi Monica! I’m glad you were inspired! That’s kind of fun, isn’t it? I thought it was a really good question too. It helps me to be more thankful, and aware.

      Thank you for your kind words about it.
      Blessings,
      Ceil

    • Hi Linda! Oh, you have a some good ones here. I love reading these because they remind me of what touches me too! A good read…that is like God choosing a wonderful story/information for me. Love that.

      I hope the Lord brings you many special moments today, and you feel him reaching out to you.
      Blessings,
      Ceil

    • Hi Denise! That is a great one! Seeing God gift others is a wonderful sight. A child at play, people gathering as family…that’s so true.

      Thank you for your insights today!
      Ceil

  7. Ceil, this is beautiful!! I love it. Aren’t you thankful the Lord heard your prayers to “open your eyes that you might see?” I know I am. He amazes me every day. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    • Hi Nan! Thank you for your encouraging comments on the post today!

      You make a good point. I do think that God wants me to be more open to his graces and gifts. There are so many, but sometimes I just glide right by them.

      Have a wonderful grace-filled day 🙂
      Ceil

  8. Wow, this is a good question. I’d have to think about this a bit, but off the top of my head I’d say an anointed message at church and good worship music. Then there are the sweet and special hugs from my 6 year old grandson and the lively banter between our adult children and daughter in law. We are truly blessed, aren’t we? 🙂

    In answer to your question on my blog – I can’t think of any Christian speaking blogs. If I happen to come across any I will let you know. Have a wonderful week!

    • Hi Karen! It is a good question, and it really made me focus in on the wonderful things in my life that I may not see, or I may not fully appreciate. Love that one about the hugs from your grandson…

      Thank you for keeping me in mind about speaking blogs. I’ll keep my eye out too.

      Have a great day!
      Ceil

  9. What a beautiful post. I was feeling pretty down and out this morning (no reason)–and decided to walk to the post office and library..none the less..came across a funeral procession that was very touching..it just caused me to reflect and put things back into reality..reality is not really word..just made everything right again. Blessings

    • Hi Linda! What an experience you had! I think God lined all that up for you so you would feel ‘back to reality.’ He is so good to us. Even when we get sad, he’s right there to help.

      I’m so glad that you felt right again. Walks in nature, or just around the block really clear my head. Thank you for reminding me of that.

      Hope you have more God-moments today!
      Ceil

  10. Hi, Ceil! Nice to meet you, I followed you at the Beauty in His Grip link-up. Wow! There are so many ways God touches me, my heart….a beautiful sunset on the lake; a timely Scripture verse that addresses what I’m going through perfectly; the first cry of a newborn baby; the unconditional love of a parent; ….yes, I’m easily moved by so many things! God is so good!!

    • Hi Ann! Thank you for visiting me through the bloghop!

      I do like that Scripture verse idea. I had that experience yesterday. I read some Old Testament which really spoke to me. I just nodded my head and smiled and said a quiet “Thank you.”

      You are very fortunate to be moved by ‘so many things.’ I want to be more like you! I think I get a bit too busy and miss so much.

      Have a grace-filled day 🙂
      Ceil

    • Hi Cecelia! Wow, that’s a really good one. It’s like you can perceive the partnership between you and God. That’s really special.

      Thank you for sharing your God-touched moment.
      Have a wonderful day!
      Ceil

    • Hi Susan! I had never heard of Holy Yoga before…I’ll have to look that up. A gratitude journal is such a great idea, making those blessings concrete so you can look at them and remember how blessed you are.

      I love music too. It has a way of calming and centering or lifting my spirit to praise.

      Thank you for your encouraging comment about the post too!
      Blessings,
      Ceil

  11. I can tell you that trying to get out of the church parking lot when no one will dare yield is what doesn’t touch me!

    My alone time with God is what touched me the most I think. Seeing His work in action, His mercy and grace in my life, and really grasping it, or a small part of it, really brings me to a deeper level of intimacy with Him and wisdom within my soul.

    • Hi Floyd! Oh I know…my mom would get so disgusted after church in the parking lot. She’d say “You’d never know these people were just in church!”

      Alone time with God is so essential, isn’t it? I really like that time too. Especially if it helps you to see his work in your life, and brings you closer to him too. That’s what God wants for you. To know him better and to see him in this world. Nice!

      Blessings,
      Ceil

  12. The way my daughters love and support each other–we worked hard at teaching them to get along when they were little–and it’s so wonderful to their young adult relationship. I also feel ‘the touch’ when I slow down to observe nature (I make a habit of stopping and smelling the roses and rejoice when I encounter one that smells good!). A hummingbird’s tongue always makes me smile at the infinite intelligence of our Creator (and his senses of beauty and humor).

    • Hi Anita! Thank you for visiting here today!
      What a wonderful sight it must be to see your adult daughters having a close relationship! Family is so important, isn’t it?

      You are really using your senses on your walks too. Smelling flowers and seeing and hearing the birds. The power of the senses were given to you, and you use them to give back in praise. That’s really wonderful.

      I pray that God will lead to many of his wonders today 🙂
      Nice to meet you!
      Ceil

  13. This is beautiful Ceil.

    Everything in nature touches me… it’s when I feel closest to God… where I can see Him everywhere with His autograph on everything.

    Then there’s the smiles of my girls, their laughter, and how when I sing at church, I am always brought to tears. So many things touch me… these are just a few.

    Thanks for sharing (and inspiring).

    Wishing you a blessed week my friend.
    xoxo

    • Hi Jennifer! How beautiful to read about your experience singing in church. I am always amazed by the different ways we are all touched by the Lord, and how we experience that touch too.

      I can see how much you love your children by the way you write about them. And isn’t it a grace to see them as a connection to the Lord, the one who made them? I love that.

      You have a graced day my friend 🙂
      Ceil

  14. What I love about this question is that the answers reflect God’s creativity. He connects with us in such unique ways—ways that resonate with who we are individually. The arts have always been a way that I’ve felt His touch. And like so many have already said, there are few words to describe it. Maybe that’s because it’s more important to feel it.

    • Hi Crystal! I have really had my eyes opened by everyone’s comments that’s for sure. All the different ways the Lord truly speaks to all his children. All of them unique, but all in his creation.

      It is hard to describe! Well, God is hard to describe too…it’s all more than we can fathom or imagine. But it’s so important to share our awe and blessings. It really helps me understand how great God is.

      Always good to see you 🙂
      Ceil

  15. Hello Ceil. Two big things that touch me are people caring for others in any way God moves them to do so; and God’s beautiful nature. Whether it is His animals in their beautiful habitat, or just watching a storm or a field of flowers.

    • Hi Kim! Those are really great prompts to the Spirit. Both in creation and in his people. I know what you mean about people caring for others. It’s so touching and so right all at the same time.

      Have a wonderful, God-touched day my friend,
      Ceil

  16. Ceil, you touch on a really important aspect of life here of being open and aware, receptive, listening to all the God-incidences and observing all the God-shaped moments where grace invades the everyday. I love how you describe it, “like finding hidden gifts of love tucked into the hour shaped folds of my day.” A simply beautiful thought!
    During my days of being largely housebound I find God touches me in multiple ways with:words written and spoken, music of varying kinds, glimpses of His glory in sunrise (rare for me to see) and sunset, sight and scent of living things glimpsed out the window, clouds with all their wafting, wispy whirls, dense pockets of rain and seasons changing.
    Life in all its rich variety and tender moments such as you described are the essence of His life revealed in ours. Thank you for stirring the creative thought processes! 🙂 x

    • Hi Joy! Thank you for your supportive comments today! And you reminded me that music is a wonderful connection to the divine for me. Thank you!

      I’m sure that being in the house for most of the day opens you to the more quiet things of life…just like you mentioned. Sunrise/sunset/clouds. It’s really overwhelming how much beauty there is all around us, and how much I miss. I know that you are open to so many more thoughts about this topic because of your tender and sensitive heart in poetry. I really admire that. I hope I can become a little more aware each day!

      Always great to see you my friend. May God bless you with his inspiration each day,
      Ceil

  17. What a wonderful reminder, Ceil, to slow down, look and listen for His presence. The lovely painting with its breathtaking colors at the top of your blog touches me, as do butterflies, sunsets, clouds, husbands gently tending to their ailing wives in church, girls in church running up to me with a genuine smile and hug, and so many more. And especially6 Scripture when I hear it speak directly to my heart.
    God bless,
    Laurie

    • Hi Laurie! What a great list you have here. (And thanks for including my blog header, that was sweet!) Such a good point about Scripture. When you read just the thing you need to hear, or get the direction you need at that moment, it’s such a grace.

      Your mentioning husbands helping their wives, that really touched me!
      Have a peaceful evening,
      Ceil

  18. Reverence, yes, that’s something to give us pause. Nature touches me and the observation of my children, the way they are so naturally themselves in all they do (I guess the same is true of nature too, that it is unabashedly itself). Thanks for linking these reflections, Ceil, with Unforced Rhythms. I like your cover picture:)

    • Hi Kelly! I loved the way you put it..’unabashedly itself.’ I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that phrase before!

      I enjoyed being a part of the hop 🙂
      Thank you for mentioning the blog header, I like it too.
      Have a restful night,
      Ceil

    • Hi Lulu! It’s so fun to see you again! Is your blog-break over now?

      Isn’t it true. As we get older, there is a greater appreciation for the gifts we are given every day. One bonus of age anyway!

      Thank you for stopping by today 🙂
      Ceil

  19. I’m so touched by reading your post, Ceil and the comments are very uplifting! We had an experience today that touched me. My hubby and I are friends with a couple that are struggling financially. Tom learned that she has only two tops and shorts to her name. He asked our daughter (same size) if she had any clothes she was pitching. She handed over a shopping bag full. She is the one who is a nurse and she shops Chico’s!!! Today he took them to the wife and she cried and cried. She said it was like Christmas for her. Tom brought a box from our church’s food pantry and also cookies for her grand kids living with them. Helping people is my answer. And right now I feel very close to Jesus.

    • Hi Mary! What an amazing experience! For ALL of you. Bless your heart, and your family’s for pitching in and helping someone who really needed what you could give. That’s the wonder of it all. God knew exactly who to approach to help this couple. And you responded. Beautiful!

      Thank you for sharing this wonderful, real story. This is something that can touch all of us.

      Blessings and hugs,
      Ceil

    • Hi Jeanie! It was really fun to read everyone’s responses. Some reminded me of things that touch me too, I just didn’t think of them. There really are so many wonderful things in life that God uses to reach out and show us that he’s here!

      Have a peaceful night my friend!
      Ceil

  20. Great question! Making eye contact with a homeless person, smiling, stopping to chat, and seeing his eyes light up because for one minute he is seen and realized that he matters. That really touches me. But also, pulling weeds, spending time on my little garden, listening to music that speaks to my heart, and seeing a new father holding his little baby.

    • Hi Aneta! How nice to see you again! You have a really good list going here. Pulling weeds? Wow, there’s something that never touches me…I think I’d better look at that experience again.

      New fathers, I get that one. Great thoughts!
      Thank you for your visit, and have a restful night 🙂
      Ceil

  21. Ceil, I love this post. I’m always moved when I see someone expressing God’s love to others and when I recognize God the manifestation of God’s love on someone else’s love. I cry when I witness others profess their need of our Savior. I am overwhelmed with joy when my granddaughter joins in praising God by lifting her hands high in the air along with me. While working with pregnant women who are considering abortion, I am grateful and thankful to God when the women choose to keep their babies.
    Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    • Hi Marilyn! What a touching list you have…especially the work with women, counseling against abortion. That is wonderful, life-saving work. And seeing your granddaughter praise and sing? I think that would make me cry too.

      So nice to see you again my friend. Hope you are doing well, and feeling blessed day by day.
      Ceil

  22. I am not an observant woman, so my prayer is to be like one, so that I can notice every act of love around me.
    Thanks for these awakening thoughts Ceil.
    I loved it:)

    • Hi Joy! That’s a great prayer, and I join you because I can always be more observant. I know that God is showing me his wonders in people and nature, and so often I miss it. I want to see more of what God wants me to see. As you said, it’s an ‘act of love.’

      Thank you for your comment today 🙂
      Ceil

  23. Ceil,
    I love how you see..it is those “little” acts of human kindness that touch me…or a sunset….beautiful flowers …the beach…all little reminders of God’s kisses still on earth…His tender care 🙂

    • Hi Dolly! Your list was really fun to read. So calming! I think of a beach at sunset…why that resonates so deeply I don’t know, but it does! Such beauty. And flowers, you are so right. The creativity of our God is amazing.

      Thank you for your little act of kindness in visiting me today 🙂
      Have a peaceful evening,
      Ceil

  24. Listening to our grandchildren pray….that’s quite humbling to this Nannie, especially when the prayers go from “bless him/her” to an actual prayer “for His glory” out of our almost 8 year old! God is so good!!!

    • Hi Nannie! Wow, that would be so touching to hear! It’s so wonderful to see our faith passed down to the generations, and to hear it too. What wonderful parents and grandparents this eight year old has. You are a great witness and support!

      Nice to see you again Deb 🙂
      Ceil

    • Hi Mindy! You are so right, and I can’t believe I didn’t think of it when I wrote this post. I guess there are so many things that touch, it’s hard to write them all.

      Thanks for visiting today 🙂
      Have a restful night,
      Ceil

  25. The closer my relationship with the Lord grows my list has grown. I can be touched by the smallest things…such as a weed in the parking lot at a super store while waiting for my Frank…God is everywhere:)

    • Hi Dee! Thank you for reading two posts, and commenting too.

      Awww…you see God in the weed. You are so open to the Lord my friend. I wouldn’t even have noticed it! Thank you for opening my eyes too.

      Blessings,
      Ceil

  26. Oh, I love this!! 🙂

    Nature, solitude, community, joyful children, friends who listen and point me toward God’s love, people sharing their stories and hope, the birth of a new baby and their first cry, the first glimmer of hope in a wounded woman’s eyes when she feels God, laughter in the narthex after church…I could go on and on…what a wonderful thing to meditate on.

    • Hi Anne! Thanks for reading two posts and commenting on them both!

      Solitude…that’s a great one! I am trying to stick to contemplative prayer and in that solitude with God there is so much grace. Thank you for mentioning that. And laughter, that’s a God gift too.

      Great thoughts my friend, thank you!
      Ceil

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *