By Karen Moreland of Independence, MO, USA
If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. —Romans 12:18 NRSV
My husband Dean received a phone call from the local hospital to come and pray with a patient. Not recognizing the name, but willing to go, Dean and I left immediately. When we entered the man’s room we discovered the hospital had called the wrong church. We apologized and turned to leave when the man said, “Please stay.”
He shared with us that he was dying of lung cancer. Because he had been a smoker all of his life and refused to stop, he recognized that his choices contributed to his health condition. Not willing to leave this man alone in his time of need, Dean and I stayed to visit. We shared our thoughts about the compassionate, loving, forgiving God we knew. When it was time to leave, the man thanked us for coming and said, “I am now at peace with God.”
God’s love knows no bounds. It is out of Divine love that God sent us to share with this lonely, dying man, to assure him that God loved him. I continually rejoice that my God and community help us make it through dark nights of loneliness.
Prayer for Peace
Compassionate God, may we be the vessels of your compassion. May we be the assurance that you do not withdraw your love under any condition. And may we remember that peace does depend on us.
Spiritual Practice: Tears of Compassion
Offer a silent prayer for the gift of God’s compassion. Cup your hands and ask God to make you aware of the suffering that causes the Earth and its inhabitants to groan and weep. Be open to faces or places, sounds or voices, feelings of connection with those who suffer. Imagine catching the tears of those you see and holding them in your hands. Listen for prayer images or words God may give you. Discern any active responses of ministry or healing you sense invited to offer for those who weep.
Today, God, we will answer the lonely and say, “Yes, we will stay.”