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The Times
  • Suzette Martinez Standring: Certain of what you do not see

  • My husband looked out the window. “There! Straight ahead! Do you see those two deer?”


     

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  • My husband looked out the window. “There! Straight ahead! Do you see those two deer?”
    “Where? Where? By the trees?”
    “No,” he said, “in front of that wooden fence.”
    Somewhere in the far field two deer grazed, but I couldn’t see them and David’s insistence was annoying. “Just look over there. They’re right in front of you!”
    I hate playing Where’s Waldo. My scrutiny yielded nothing and I became convinced David was working my last nerve for fun. “How can you miss them?  Just look!”
    Frustrated, I wanted to lie and say, “Oh, yeah, there they are.”
    Then one of the deer moved, a ray of sunshine spotlighting its taupe colored coat, turning it golden in the morning light. Its natural camouflage had blended seamlessly with brown shrubbery and dark branches. The animals had been in my direct line of vision the whole time. Magical!
    Later that day I talked with a friend and her news was not good: facing middle age, childless, a breakup with a boyfriend, and working at a dead-end job. Making bad comparisons with successful and married classmates was a specter that loomed with an upcoming reunion. She said, “My destiny seems to be obscurity and mediocrity.”
    I see her differently – lovely, energetic and funny. Kindness and talent are her twin deer in the far field, invisible to her, but obvious to others. Yet a rousing pep talk would likely result in her saying, “Yeah, right, OK, whatever.”  Just like this morning with the so-called imaginary deer, I was ready to fake, “Yep, there they are. Now can we just have our coffee?”
    Instead I went out on a limb and suggested prayer. In my own (too many) moments of insecurity and fear, I pray. When there are no logical solutions, no seeming ways out, the wall is too high, and the obstacles too many, I pray. I know that to some, it may be foolish advice, but it’s what I do, so thus, my going out on a limb.
    Potential is hidden in the unseen. Faith takes me the distance when nerve and resources fail. Hebrews 11:5-7 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” If everything turned solely on my own actions, I’m in trouble because I’m so limited. Countless times, after praying, a way around a tough challenge presented itself, and faith helped me to hang on. The power of The Marvelous exists, and it is as real as the deer I couldn’t see in the field.     
    People of faith do not corner the market on miracles or hold immunity against tragic times. That’s obvious. Prayer is not a magic talisman, and although God always responds, sometimes the answer is no. (My mom told me that when I once complained that God wouldn’t let me grow taller. I’m still 4’10”.) Yet at my saddest junctures, God seemed to say, “OK, now get the heck out of the way and let me show you what I can do.” Sometimes if I didn’t get my exact request, I later discovered he had something much better in mind. Meanwhile divine support is given in courage, strength, hope, or peace, those things that can’t be seen, but are revealed when the moment is right.
    Page 2 of 2 - Email Suzette Standring at suzmar@comcast.net.
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