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“Behold God, beholding you, and smiling.”

Fr. Joe Kraemer

Here I rest. It’s Christmas Eve. Last weekend was spent with our children and grandchildren in celebration of our family tradition. We had grandpa’s electric train going at top speed, engineered by 4 and 5 year old grandchildren. We had moms and dads with laughter and cheer. We had gifts exchanged. We had it all.

Yesterday, we had children and grandchildren aboard the Polar Express. There were squeals of delight from the tiny ones. The presence of Santa was here for us all. We were dancing in the aisle of the train. On the way home in the slushy snow, there were two granddaughters in the back seat singing in great joy.

This report of the ongoing blessings of this season is unending. Fortunately, Ann and I are at a place in life that allows us to “behold”, and smile. Today, my face aches as a side effect of the laughter and smiles of the past weeks.


I am also deeply mindful of the other side of the world. I imagine beholding the faces uncovered from the rubble in Aleppo and other waring places. I imagine beholding the faces of the ones protecting our water in North Dakota. I picture the souls of those whose beloved have died from violence, cancer, or of any cause.


I am mindful of the separation of spirits due to anger and hostility over religious beliefs, or politics, or a refusal to forgive……………….


Behold God, beholding me.

What does She see?

In my mind, I pray She sees a good and faithful servant.

In my soul, it really doesn’t matter.

What matters is that God is beholding me. God has always been the first to look, to search for me. In my bondage, my addiction, my way of life, God made the first move to offer freedom.

God obviously sees Her creation and is moved, with mercy, compassion, and welcoming arms.


Today, I will ponder. In my eyes and in my soul, I will ponder the smile of God as She beholds me.

I am in tears. I am not worthy.

She is in joy. I am her beloved.

I will pray for mindfulness each time I behold the face of a child, the face of one of my beloved, the face of one who is in fear and agony.

I will be mindful of the face of God, beholding me, and smiling.


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