One of my regular sources of inspirational reading right now is "A Guide to Prayer" from the Upper Room. It seems that there are seasons when our church family is touched more strongly by death. I apologize if I forget any or there have been others pass which I was not aware but I find myself praying for Rick Wallace's family, Jim Shirey, Bill and Kathy Clark, Rich Gochnauer, Rick Weymuth, Tabitha and her husband...to list only a few in the last couple of weeks. My heart is heavy for these families that grieve and I feel honored to pray for the light to shine in the darkness.
I know that this has no real comparison to the loss of a child or parent or loved one, but my heart is additionally heavy as my dog, Augie, passed on Friday. I think for me it brings up grief again for my father since Augie was his dog.
I would like to share one of the readings that spoke deeply to me yesterday in "A Guide to Prayer". In this reading, all of us are reminded that we are leaders of the faith. This is by Henri Nouwen:
"Faith in the value and meaning of life, even in the face of despair and death, is the second principle of Christian leadership. This seems so obvious that it is often taken for granted and overlooked.
But for a man with a deep-rooted faith in the value and meaning of life, every experience holds a new promise, every encounter carries new insight, and every event brings a new message. But these promises, insights, and messages have to be discovered and made visible. A Christian leader is not a leaders because he announced a new idea and tries to convince others of its worth, he is a leader because he faces the world with eyes full of expectation, with the expertise to take away the veil that covers its hidden potential. This gives eyes to see the flower breaking through the cracks in the street, ears to hear a word of forgiveness muted by hatred and hostility, and hands to feel new life under the cover of death and destruction."
I hope that these words may hold a special message for you as it does for me.
In Christ's Service, Patti
Rev. Patti Napier
Then I heard the Lord asking, "Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?" I said, "Here I am. Send me." Isaiah 6:8