Encountering Christ in Unexpected Moments

How do you encounter Christ? Sure, we can find him in a peaceful chapel and at the altar during Holy Mass. We might see him in a sunset or a kindness from a friend. But do you see him in the people you meet on the street? Do you recognize his presence in a sick or elderly person, the person who cut you off in traffic, or an inconvenient interruption?

The saints knew how to recognize Christ in others. Mother Teresa saw the suffering face of Christ in every person she ministered to in the slums of Calcutta. Saint Damien of Molokai saw God in the pain of the lepers he served.

man helps elderly man in wheelchair across street

We can encounter Christ in the most unexpected ways. Fr. McKay, regular contributor to The Inner Life®, shared a story of an unexpected knock at the door that reminded him that Jesus is found in each and every one of us.

“I always like my morning times—Holy Hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament, and prior to that I might get a cup of coffee and say Morning Prayer,” explained Fr. McKay. One morning this week, there was a knock at the door. When he opened it, he saw a man from the neighborhood who is struggling with addiction.

“He said, ‘I gotta get my laundry done, I gotta get my laundry done.’ And I’m saying, … ‘I need my quiet time. I need my time with the Lord, I need my cup of coffee in the morning. Can you come back?’

“‘I’m sorry Father, but I got an interview and I gotta get my laundry done.’ So I say, all right come on in, and we put his clothes in the washer. And I said, ‘Come back in about two hours and I’ll put the clothes from the washer into the dryer.’”

“Well, it was such a powerful experience! That as I look at him, it was Jesus knocking at the door—now I’m washing Jesus’ clothes for him. And it got stronger as the day went on. But it really taught me something … we can’t box him in. I want to say this is my time, my cup of coffee, my Holy Hour. And the Lord takes care of me with Adoration and even contemplation, but it’s not on my timetable, it’s on his timetable.”

As you go about your week, take some quiet moments to find God in ordinary situations. See how you have encountered him in the people you’ve met, the beauty you’ve seen, and the ones who have reached out for your help.

“Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” – Matthew 25:40

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Lindsey is a wife, mother, and contributing author at Relevant Radio. She holds a degree in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lindsey enjoys writing, baking, and liturgical living with her young family.