Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wilderness Times

I preached last week about Moses obtaining water from a rock, and since then I’ve been thinking about wilderness times. I’ve had some of those times in my life recently. Of late, however, my life’s journey has evened out, but I have been saddened watching friends struggle. I do not know how people manage during life’s difficult times if they do not have faith in God to fall back on. I talked with a new friend this morning about the challenges she is facing. She is a woman of deep faith. Her mother is in hospice care, and she spends her time caring for her. She said the problem is not death as such, but the journey to reach that point and cross over into the next life.

I have also learned that the journey is often the challenge. The hard part I think is to remember that God is there, even at those times when I’m so frightened and sad that I have a hard time remembering anything. I decided that was the point of the story of Moses obtaining water from a rock in the wilderness for the Israelites. They were frightened and sad, with good reason after all they had been through before they fled into the wilderness. I think maybe their physical challenges may have been less daunting than their emotional and spiritual ones! Somehow in the midst of that time, they forgot all that God had already done for them. Fortunately, God had not forgotten them and continued to provide for their most basic needs.

I am working at trying to remember that God is there for me no matter what is happening in my life, as close as my own heartbeat  and the air I breathe. I’ve learned that’s easier if I look and listen with eyes and ears of faith, though it’s probably going to take the rest of this life to get that right!

Grace and Peace,


Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Blessings of Home

I have travelled many hundreds of miles this summer, for both happy reasons and sad. Towards the end of this season of travel, I found myself more and more frustrated and annoyed with the constant effort to find routine items amongst my jumbled belongings. At times merely brushing my teeth seemed to be a Herculean task. I was more than ready to return home to a familiar place with a familiar routine, much as I sometimes chafe at the sameness of life here at home.

I am forced to admit once again how often I fail to be grateful for ordinary blessings: a place for my toothbrush where I can easily find it, and the ability to sleep in my own bed in peace and safety. I know that there are many homeless people here in this country. I have met some of them through Family Promise, a program that houses homeless families in churches, including the one to which I belong. I also know that around the world, the flood of refugees fleeing their homes with nothing more than what they are wearing seems to expand almost moment to moment.

This summer, I stopped to think about what it might be like never to be able to return home to a familiar place and a familiar routine. And while familiar objects are mere things and my family matters more to me than any inanimate object ever could, I still find it a blessing to live among familiar things with their reminders of times past and present, a living museum that contains the history of our family. I grieve for those who have lost that kind of comfort, perhaps forever. I weep for those who have lost the blessings of home. And I pray for the coming of that time when God’s peace and justice will prevail in a world made new.

Grace and Peace,