Where Was God?

By Linda Pelfrey, guest blogger

In a conference on mental health in faith communities, author Sarah Griffith Lund asked “where was God?” in a mental health or family crisis.

Here is my personal answer:

God was in the puppy who snuggled with me when voices got loud and scary.

God was in the kind sisters of the church who brought dinner when Mama or Daddy were in hospital. (Even when we said we liked Daddy’s cooking better.)

God was in the music that lifted the spirits of a little girl who felt lonely even in a crowd of people. God spoke beauty and hope through all those songs.

God was in the books and characters that provided a safe place for a child who possessed limitless imagination.

God was in the Grandmother who prayed unceasingly for all of her family.

God was in the beauty of springtime and birdsong.

God was in the silly laughter of a child who found humor in the darkest of circumstances.

God was in Mama’s hands when she brushed “rat’s nests,” out of a little girl’s head who didn’t know yet how to “act like a lady.”

God was in the delicious food Daddy cooked because it was his way of saying what he could not speak into words.

God guided Daddy’s heart when he had to answer the question: “what does blind mean?”

God was in the moments when being a blind kid meant being ignored or teased.

God was in my New York Grandma and aunties who protected me while teaching me how strong I was.

God was there to touch my face and dry my tears when I learned any child I might have could be blind or sick in some other way.

God is in all the children God sends into my life: showing me that family isn’t always defined by blood.

God is in the people who say they don’t know if they believe; yet, God is in them any way as they show up as friends.

God is in all the people who cross my path, and sometimes pick me up and carry me when I fall.

Thank you God for puppies, music, sisters in the church, Grandmothers and every way you show up in my world.

A little background about me:

My brother and I were both born blind. We later learned that it was probably the result of my mother’s exposure to dangerous chemicals as a child. (She grew up in the Love Canal area of Niagara Falls where toxic waste was buried under homes and a school.)

As an adult, I see the courage it took for my mother Sandra to battle a mental illness along with numerous illnesses. She passed away at age 45.

Me today:

I am Team Leader at church, and rotate as Liturgist.

I work as a Receptionist at Goodwill/Easter Seals.

My passion is a radio show my brother and I co-host where we review film with a focus on how disability and race are portrayed.

Follow my blog.

From Sarah Griffith Lund:

I’m happy to host Linda Pelfrey’s blog as my guest. We met in Dayton, OH and she is a person with a powerful story to share.

Published by Sarah Griffith Lund

Leader, preacher and author of *Blessed are the Crazy: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness, Church and Family*

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