In these few days between Christmas joy and New Year’s celebrations, I began my morning prayers with gratitude for a time of rest. I’m sure God laughed as I also gave thanks for the desire to walk on my elliptical trainer for 5 minutes three times today, and the desire to get back to editing the sequel to Fireweed. Then I asked for the motivation to clean up my study that has become the repository of the Christmas chaos. Obviously, my idea of what constitutes rest is a little strange.
Still I had wakened feeling good, ready to write something. A few moments with my inspirational reading and these words came. I looked at them, and thought. I can’t post these. I’m not sad today. The sun is shining. Our Christmas family gatherings have been full of love and joy. Yet, God offered me, these words. They must be needed by someone. So here they are.
I remember when
I did not cry.
I feared my pain.
I did not know
Tears healing power.
The dam is cracked.
Tears seep through
There is no patch
To hold them back.
The crack widens
Control is gone.
Those tears pour through.
Unchecked and free
Tears are my words
The best I have.
They’ll wash me clean.
They’ll bring new life.
Today I sat at the front of the ship soaking in the beauty as we travelled down river. Mile after mile of idyllic peace. A yellow canoe cut through the sparkling green water. Occasionally, a small village nestled against the hills and protected by its tall church spire, broke the lush green of the countryside with white and blue and red. Today families enjoyed the tiny beaches. Children frolicked in the water at the river’s edge. This is a joyful morning. On this trip most mornings bring this peace.
When we arrived in Nuremberg, both of us decided to skip the historical documentation of WWII. Hitler’s Germany is a dark and painful blot on human history. Today’s German citizens feel the shame and the pain. Everywhere we’ve stopped we have seen the results of their hard work, rebuilding and restoring after the war. This is a monumental job, not just with their buildings but with their souls.
Instead we went on the walking tour of Nuremburg titled, a taste of Nuremberg. Mostly we saw the castle and some spectacular churches, Besides feasting with our eyes, we were given a sample of German gingerbread made with spices and ground nuts- a yummy cookie. We also enjoyed German sausage on a bun plus a generous sample of the local beer. The tour was delightful, the people of the city warm and friendly. Our taste of Nuremberg was delightful – a joyful moment a new memory of Nuremberg to lay beside the horror of Hitler and hopefully add to the healing.
On January 30th I slipped on a pool of water in my kitchen. Although no bones were broken, I was sidelined for more than a month with soft tissue injury in my back. I’m still not 100% healed. God did not cause me to fall, but has certainly used the accident to teach me a great deal.
Good health is vital. Without it my life is severely limited. I must care for my body with plenty of rest, good food and exercise.
I read Brian McLaren’s latest book in which he gives a sound theological basis for my belief that learning about other faiths can strengthen my Christianity.
I had hours to spend working on my next book and learned that I can make it a priority in my life.
I don’t like being limited. Impatience and frustration often overwhelm me Yet, as I lay confined to my zero gravity lawn chair, I didn’t waste my time. God enabled me to use it creatively. It seems to me that’s the way God would like us to look at all the difficult, even tragic disruptions in our lives.
Some say these difficult things are God’s punishments for our wrongdoing. I don’t believe that God causes them at all. I do believe that when these things happen, God is right there with us, holding us, and helping us, bringing healing and offering us learning. Our job is to accept God’s healing and support. God offers us creative learning from the experience so that we can do more than just survive. We can begin to live a new life. I’m sure that with God’s help I’ll have a long list of learnings before my body is totally healed and I’m out dancing comfortably again. I can trust in God and I am grateful.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not un your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3: 5-6 NIV)
Almost two weeks ago Christians around the world gathered to pray for justice and forgiveness in the human family. We name this day “The World Day of Prayer.” Starting at sunrise in the far east, and ending at sunset in the far west, regardless of our skin colour, nationality or economic status, we come together with one request for God. Please, empower us, teach us, show us how to live together in love and justice.
As I prayed in Dunsford with people from the three churches of our area, I pictured a huge tidal wave of love, thousands of stories high, rising out of the ocean of humanity, bringing with it a desire for peace and justice in our hurting world.
Can you see it? Can you feel it? Just as the wave at a baseball game picks up and blasts the stadium with excitement and energy, so also does this worldwide wave of prayer, blast the world with mercy and love. It is good that we do this every year. We need to remember that we are called to pray for peace and justice, not just on the first Friday of March, but every day of the year. I invite you to join the wave. Pray for unity and healing in our world. Turn on the power of prayer.
Jesus said, “Ask and it willbe given to you; seek and you will find; knockandthedoorwillbeopened to you.