Daily Bread August 31

Judy Luffman of Redmond, OR, USA

If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. -Romans 12:18

For years I was terrified of spiders: big, little, dark, light. It didn’t matter what kind or size, I didn’t want to be anywhere near them. Since most of the time the ones I spotted were in our home hunkered down in a high, dark corner or scurrying across a ceiling, I had to call my husband to remove them. That usually meant a swift smash and grab.

Slowly something began to change in me as I got deeper into theological study. There was no sudden “aha” moment or overnight shift in my thinking, but I gradually began to notice that spiders were pretty amazing creatures. When I took time to really look at their webs outdoors I noticed that they were artistic and functional masterpieces. I also became more aware of their natural fit in the ecological scheme of helping rid gardens of more damaging insects.

As my understanding of God’s love for all of creation grew, so did my appreciation for spiders and other creepy crawly things. That’s not to say I wanted to co-exist with them in my house! But instead of calling for my husband to deal with them, I started carefully scooping them up and transferring them outdoors.

Maybe one day soon human beings will view each other as precious extensions of God’s created order rather than living in fear of each other. Maybe one day we will become open to receiving and extending God’s love to each other no matter what variations in appearance, size, color, ethnicity, or orientation exist between us. Then we will proclaim together that what God has created is good.

Prayer Phrase

“… the breath of the Almighty gives me life” (Job 33:4).

Spiritual Practice

Breathing God’s Compassion

Pay attention to your breathing and let it become calmer and deeper as you focus on God’s presence. Ask God to breathe in you. Imagine each breath carrying the light of God into your lungs, bloodstream, and every cell in your body until God’s Spirit fills you. Now imagine breathing out God’s compassion and grace each time you exhale, especially into places and situations in need of loving care. Give thanks to the Spirit, source of every breath, source of life.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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