Daily Devotionals

What Do You Ask For?

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Scripture: “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7 (ESV)

I write this devotional as I sit in the pew of the Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal. No matter where I am in life, what I’ve been doing, or how close to God I’ve been, a certain calm comes over me when I enter a holy space.

Knowing that calm was coming, I walked into this Basilica with its stunning architecture and interior design. I said three prayers: one for a friend who just entered the military, one for the people of Ukraine, and one for the outcasts.

Inspired by Victor Hugo’s 1831 friend novel of the same name, Disney’s animated movie– “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame” –tells the story of outcasts. One of the songs, “God Help the Outcasts,” has been an overall favorite of mine, across all genres. In it “Esmeralda,” a gypsy and, therefore, an outcast of the film’s Christian society, asks God if she can even pray to him… and if she can, she asks for nothing but for God to help her people. There is an interlude where the wealthy and noble ask for more wealth, fame, glory, and love. The juxtaposition here is about as obvious as a lesson from a Disney movie can get.

As a young Christian college student with the entire world ahead of me, I often find myself in such a state of distress with how Christians are viewed by the rest of the world. And unfortunately, it is our own fault. We ask for wealth, fame, glory… we ask to be better-than. We don’t set aside our wants to help others’ needs.

Moving forward in this day, challenge yourself to see what you’re living for, what you’re asking for. We’re quick to point a finger at the other political party, the other religion, the other race… the other communities that are simply different from ours. We are all children of God and we must treat each other as such.

Now, I need to leave this pew so another may use it to hear the charge God has for them; but I will go with the purpose of acting in selflessness, and I hope you will too.

Prayer: Dear God, as I move through my days, I only ask that you open my eyes to see past a person’s own beliefs and into their soul where you reside. I ask that you put me in challenging situations where I must choose to be selfless. Thank you for teaching me to be like you. In your name, I pray, Amen. 

Submitted by Mary Martha Beard

(Mary Martha is a rising Senior at the College of Charleston and the daughter of Neal and Lynn Beard.)