Thursday, July 17, 2008
Over the past few days my husband has been suffering with a very painful back and has been unable to enjoy this vacation time. It began on Sunday morning and has gotten worse, although with two visits to the chiropractor and some medication, he is showing signs of progress. He had wanted to take long bike rides and explore places we had not yet been. He had wanted to do some surf fishing which we enjoy doing every year even though we rarely catch anything. The joy is in casting a line and watching and waiting. And he wanted to do some serious body surfing and beach reading while hanging out with old friends. He had no major goals, just simple pleasures. He has been able to do little else but ice his back and rest.
I am reminded in times like these that small things make all the difference in the world. Both daughters who have been around have been very attentive, willing to sit with their Dad, tell stories and joke around. The small things in life, a touch, a conversation, and laughter become incredibly important. The goals of full capacity set aside, the facets of the jewels that are our lives can be seen. So often, I am crushed when my big plans fall apart. And just as often, the little treasures discovered in those moments have become great lessons of love for me. For all of us faced with a change of plans, and redirection due to circumstances beyond our control, I pray today that we can see God’s enormous blessings in the small things. That we can see the hidden treasures, the deep set jewels in a very different day than we might have hoped for. Healing takes time, and I know that God will find a way to redeem even the lost hopes and dreams of one man who just wanted a vacation. And in the mean time, I plan to help make the small things as enjoyable as possible, knowing God’s delight is in the midst of us, even and especially in the small things.
Pray for the Bishops of the Anglican Communion as they begin their retreat –
The work has begun. Help us all to remember the work is yours, and as you have fashioned us, so too will you form and reform the hearts and minds of the gathered bishops. Give them courage to be silent, strength to tell the truth, and compassion to hear others. May they be broken open for love. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.
Following you has always been a rocky road. Help the bishops to delight in the pebbles in their shoes. Help them to rejoice in their discomfort, knowing you are doing a new thing in their lives. Help them to sleep and to dream a new world and a new church, remade with your love and justice at the center. We ask this in the name of your son, who suffered the worst discomfort for the redemption of the world, Jesus Christ, Amen.