Sister Ann Marie Wainright – Serendipitous Grace

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Sister Ann Marie Wainright – Serendipitous Grace

It was one of those emails I normally delete…you know the ones:  something clever with a “forward to everyone in the universe” tacked on at the end of it.  This one seemed innocuous enough and somewhat thought provoking:

A man whispered, “God, speak to me,” and a meadowlark sang.But the man did not hear.

The man looked around and said, “God, let me see you,” and a star shined brightly.But the man did not see.

So the man cried out in despair, “Touch me, God, and let me know you are here!”but the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on.

The email ends by encouraging the reader not to pass up an opportunity to notice God’s graces as they come to us in the seemingly ordinary – and often accidental or coincidental – moments in life.  It also encouraged the reader to be a source of such grace to someone else whenever possible.

Butterfly in hand_Photo by +Sister Noemi Weygant

So instead of deleting it, as I usually would do, I silently prayed God’s blessings on the person who sent it to me in the first place, and then I forwarded it to a few friends. Four days later, one of the friends to whom I sent it – a Benedictine sister at another monastery – sent it back to me. “I am sending this back to you because…I see you as a beautiful butterfly in the hands of God…”The day I received this, I really needed to read her kind words. Call it whatever you want, but I think it was serendipitous grace.In Chapter 72 of the Rule of St. Benedict, he encourages us to be the first to show respect to the other, “supporting with the greatest patience one another’s weaknesses of body or behavior” (v. 5). We are called to be instruments of God’s grace to everyone knowing that all that we encounter and experience is God’s grace to us.Where and how did you notice God’s grace today? 

Photo of Western Meadowlark by Kevin L. Cole, 4/19/08, used underthe Wikipedia Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 generic license.Source:

Photo of Butterfly in Hand by +Sister Noemi Weygant, OSBCopyright © St. Scholastica Monastery, Duluth, MN


Sister Ann Marie Wainright  

Sister Ann Marie Wainright

Sister Ann Marie Wainright is a Benedictine Sister of St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, Minnesota. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, she worked as a CPA for many years before earning dual masters degrees in counseling and pastoral studies. Sister Ann Marie is interested how people encounter God in their daily lives and how they use their faith and spirituality in meeting difficult challenges.See all of Sister Ann Marie’s blogs.


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“Our greatest fulfillment lies in giving ourselves to others.”
–Henri Nouwen