Noticing the Woman on the Bus


Learn more about how we can support you in response to the coronavirus in this letter from our president and publisher.

Noticing the Woman on the Bus

by Tom McGrath

I made this video a year or so ago for the 30 Good Minutes program which airs on public television. My original message was clear—you may find compassion in the least likely of places and from the least likely of people. Lately, though, I have begun to look at this story from the point of view of the woman on the bus. I hope I’m wrong, but I imagine she spends her days mostly overlooked and unnoticed. She's easily disregarded. Invisible—including to me except in my moment of need.

Do you ever feel as though you’re that lady? In your daily ministry do you labor behind the scenes, your work going unrecognized except perhaps by those you directly help?

And sometimes not even by them. Most of the religious educators I know aren’t motivated by the hope of reward or public accolade. They just want to have a positive impact on the lives of the children, teens, adults, and families they serve. Yet I know there are days when they wonder if they’re having any impact at all. Does anybody see me?!?!

It’s important to remember that God always notices what we do, and that in God’s great plan, no effort put forth on behalf of “the least of these” will ever be wasted.

To help keep God’s perspective in mind, in my prayer at the end of the day I become aware that I’m in the presence of God. I tell God, person to person, about “the prayers, works, joys, and sufferings” I experienced during my day. Of course God already knows all these things, but it’s greatly consoling for me to experience God noticing and caring about my day. I find this exercise especially helpful when I find myself getting resentful and agitated. Give it a try and imagine what God sees as he looks at you.

Tom McGrath 

Tom McGrath is the author of Raising Faith Filled Kids, The Meal Box, and is one of the authors of the God’s Gift series.

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Books by Tom McGrath

En torno a la mesa

Preguntas divertidas para compartir la fe en familia

¡Sea tan amable en pasar la sal, la pimienta y En torno a la mesa para iniciar la conversación! Se han combinado preguntas chistosas y creativas que ofrecen siempre consejos prácticos en torno a la fe de los que se podrán beneficiar cada vez que se sienten a la mesa.

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The Meal Box

Fun Questions and Family Tips to Get Mealtime Conversations Cookin'

Pass the salt and pepper–along with The Meal Box. Creatively fun questions combined with helpful family faith tips spice up every mealtime conversation. 54 cards in plastic case.

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Raising Faith-Filled Kids

Ordinary Opportunities to Nurture Spirituality at Home

Offers a generous collection of easy tips and tools to help parents realize a spiritual path and inspire virtue, discipline, and hope in their families.

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Educando hijos en la plenitud de la fe

Raising Faith-Filled Kids (Spanish)

Ofrece una abundante recopilación de consejos e instrumentos fáciles para ayudar a padres y madres a seguir una senda espiritual e inspirar la virtud, la disciplina y la esperanza en sus familias.

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Las Bienaventuranzas para las familias (50-pack)

El Papa Francisco ha llamado a las Bienaventuranzas un “programa para la santidad” y “el camino a la verdadera felicidad”, en otras palabras, la expresión de la esencia del mensaje de Cristo.

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Las obras de misericordia para las familias (50-pack)

En Las obras de misericordia las palabras tomadas del Evangelio de Mateo se presentan en un hermoso diseño. De un lado se muestran las obras de misericordia corporales y del otro las obras de misericordia espirituales.

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The Beatitudes for Families (50-pack)

In The Beatitudes for Families, the Beatitudes are beautifully presented with original artwork. On one side, you will find the words of Christ as found in Matthew 5:3-10. On the other side, you will find an adapted version of the Beatitudes written specifically for families by Tom McGrath, author of Raising Faith-Filled Kids.

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The Works of Mercy for Families (50-pack)

In The Works of Mercy, beautiful artwork surrounds the words taken from the Gospel of Matthew. One side shows the Corporal Works of Mercy and the other shows the Spiritual Works of Mercy.

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