The spark of the Divine is ours to claim.
As young believers, we loved hearing that we are made in God’s image. Later we heard that with this image comes a rich legacy called “a spark of the divine.” This spark is a “piece” of God’s goodness hidden deep in our hearts, but always traveling with us wherever we go. It appears occasionally to assist us in choosing the right thing or acting courteously and respectfully to those around us. God gives this gift freely to help those He loves and find their way to their heavenly home while living on earth.
This goodness appears in many ways and often we use it without knowing. Thomas decided to visit his 96-year-old great aunt Rose. He hadn’t seen her in quite a while. She had no children and “Little Tommy,” a she called him, became her favorite. He walked into the room and shouted her nickname he used since childhood: “Hello Auntie Rosie my sweet little posie.”
She immediately looked up, beaming the biggest smile he ever saw. They hugged, reminisced and laughed for quite some time. God’s gift of goodness shone through Thomas. His presence during that needed visit was for Auntie Rose, a moment of delightful happiness. It was a graced moment – a spark of the divine and God’s goodness brightened the room.
God’s goodness can lessen darkness and bring freshness to painfully sad moments. Two sisters apparently angry with each other are planning the burial of their mother, but their unresolved hurts toward each other soon surface. One sister nursed their mother through her last few weeks of illness, while the other sister was vacationing. The vacationer didn’t even return home when informed her mother was near death. Burial arrangements suddenly stopped, while the two sisters angrily confronted each other.
Finally, their father spoke up. He calmly interjected, “We have a burial for a wonderful and loving mother, a good woman who loved you both very much.” He added, “She deserves the best send-off we can give her. Let’s fix this other thing later.” And that’s what happened. The grandfather’s “spark of the Divine” settled them down, and they gave their mother a fitting burial.
In fact, the wake produced so many wonderful moments it began a healing between the two sisters. Again, the appearance of God’s goodness, through the grandfather, dispelled the darkness bringing in the needed light for healing.
God wants us to understand that at times, life can be a chore. But life is much more than these drudgery moments. Life can also have moments filled with hope and joy. And these are the life-giving pieces of God’s goodness pointing to life’s beauty. They give inspiration to those who seek and find them. These divine sparks help us, no matter what is happening, to see that our glass is never half empty, but always half full.
The divine spark reminds us that happiness has nothing to do with external things but arises from deep within. Its roots are in God’s goodness. This wellspring pumps our awareness that God’s goodness is God’s love always freely given and never emptied. And we are encouraged to seek it any time we want. It’s the spark we always need, and God freely offers. And we can attain it anytime even right now!
(Painting: Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel, Creation of Adam)