Susan Oxley of Seattle, WA, USA
Depart from evil, and do good;
seek peace, and pursue it. -Psalm 34:14
My brother-in-law Bob Skoor is a retired world church appointee living in Moses Lake, Washington. He was always an avid reader, passionate about studying theology, scripture, and doctrine. But those days are gone. Bob is legally blind now.
He called me a few weeks after my mother’s death to see how I was doing and offer his support. In addition, he had just received news that a mutual friend of ours had terminal cancer and was in hospice care. He asked how she was doing, and wanted her phone number so he could call and tell her how important her life had been and the influence she had on others.
“I’ve found it’s something I can do,” Bob said. “Here I sit in a dark room, can’t see a thing, but I can still listen. And I understand what it’s like to have your health give out and suddenly discover that everything has changed in your world. I can empathize. So when someone I care about is facing difficulties, I call them. That’s what I can do now.”
God never stops calling us to minister and serve. Bob could spend his days in anger and frustration, bitter because he can no longer see. Instead, he calls old friends, colleagues, and acquaintances that have touched his life. He offers support, affirmation, and encouragement. He often senses the Spirit leading him to connect with someone specific, and he responds. At times he has felt an urgency to make special efforts to contact a person and then has heard of their death shortly afterward. His openness and discernment are gifts God uses to bring faith and hope into the lives of others.
Bob isn’t alone. He’s only one example of how people continue to find avenues of ministry regardless of age or changing circumstances. The community is blessed when each of us responds to God’s call, offering the best of our abilities, even in the worst of life’s circumstances.
I surrender into your love, O God.
What might it look like to surrender a little to God each day? A simple prayer of surrender can help us become aware of God’s consistent invitations to deeper relationship and awareness. Imagine when you encounter a challenging person or situation silently uttering this prayer, “I surrender into your love, O God.” The same prayer can be meaningful in moments of joy and gratitude as a way of returning to the awareness of oneness with God. It’s ok if we don’t surrender everything all at once all the time. The prayer of surrender is a constant practice of returning little by little to the deepest love that is the ground of our being and desires wholeness and oneness for us and all creation.
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.