After Sunday Thought…

As a pastor, I find myself pondering yesterday’s sermon on what is supposed to be my sabbath — Monday. The sabbath rest never seems to come as there’s always something needing to be done, among them, planning for next Sunday’s worship.

But before I can even be opened to what God is preparing me to say, I need to stop replaying yesterday’s sermon in my head. Yes, I do that.

I have a pastor friend who once told me after said she preaches, it is completely out of her mind. She doesn’t fixate on the perfect quote she wanted to share that she left out. She doesn’t harp on the words she tripped over or the moment she lost her train of thought. She doesn’t even replay the rare and glorious moment when the most heavenly prose comes from her mouth. She prepares. She prays. She proclaims. And when it’s over, she proceeds to her much-need Sunday afternoon nap. By Monday, she is ready to move on.

Ah, to be like her. But I am not. So I invite you to join me for today’s “after Sunday” thought that has been on my mind. Here it is:

While preaching on the woman who pushed through the crowds to touch the hem of Jesus’ robe in order to be made whole, I got to thinking.

We are all that woman in the crowd, aren’t we? We all want to be healed of something, be it physical or emotional. We want to have hope for tomorrow. We want to stop feeling defeated, left out or unloved.

 

Yes, I’m in the crowd trying to hold on to a faith that urges me on with a beautiful realization that even if I am able to touch just a thread of Jesus’ hem, that would sufficient. I don’t need the whole hem.

I’m in the crowd. You’re in the crowd. So are your friends. And the one you love to hate. She’s next to the one who betrayed you.

The immigrant is there, too, holding the hand of a child who is crying. Both are scared. It’s an uncertain future, who wouldn’t be crying? Yet, there is a thread of a holy hem to touch. It’s so close. Reach. Stretch. Do whatever you can to get to it, but please don’t give up.

The person who doesn’t look like you, yep, he is standing right next to you in the crowd. Don’t sigh and get annoyed. He has every right to be there. The one who doesn’t speak English is pressing in as well. The gay, the lesbian, the transgender — they are all there with that woman Scripture tells us about. The woman society deems not worthy of being called by name. The woman Jesus sees as worthy and, as such, claims her name. “Daughter.”

So since we are all in that crowd reaching for the holy hem, let us not trip one another up. Let us not shove one another aside because we think them not worthy. Let us not elbow the other out of the way, because we want Jesus all to ourselves.

Rather, let us lock arms with one another and push toward a better life — a beloved community — together. For there is enough grace, love, help, support, healing — there’s enough Jesus — for all.

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I come to the garden…just one of the many places on Old Stone Well Farm where I can be still and ponder my many ‘after Sunday’ thoughts. 

 

A Quick Thought for the Day

As I walked this morning on the rail trail, deep in my own thoughts about which way to go and how best to serve God, I was reminded that my thoughts needed to be on God and his guidance. After all, how many times has God’s loving words proven true when whispered in my heart: “I know the plans I have for you…”

So how was I reminded that my thoughts were misplaced?

Lost in my own darkness, I suddenly noticed a ray of light shining on my path. The sun had broken over the mountains. I stopped and smiled. I remembered a time long ago–so it seems–when the late February sun broke through the bleak of winter, making my heart fill with hope once again.

I was on a retreat just a week after my I buried my boyfriend. Still reeling from the shock of his accident and slowly coming to grips that he was gone, I heeded my friends’ advice to come on the retreat. I really just wanted to be alone. But I went, and spent time alone there in a crowd.

While others were gathered in prayer one afternoon, I snuck off to walk in the woods. The snow was still on the ground, although patches of brown peeked through here and there. I stopped to sit on a log. It was the perfect place to breakdown and weep. And so I broke and wept.

I felt alone, confused and so unsure of the future. What was next? What was I to do? My future looked so uncertain.

As my head hung low and the tears slowed their pace, I sat still and numb. My eyes were closed but suddenly I felt a strange warmth. It grew stronger. With my head still hanging low, I opened my eyes to see a ray of light streaming down upon the ground in front me. I looked up towards the sky and noticed the sun breaking through the clouds.

For I know the plans I have for you…I heard God whisper…

God is whispering the same promise still.IMG_4011.jpg

God’s light will always break through and shine. Always.

I continued to walk this time with thoughts on the goodness of God.