Ready to Respond
Twyla Glassford of Windsor, Ontario, Canada
As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. -Colossians 3:12, 14-15
When I entered the hospital for knee replacement surgery, I took with me a prayer shawl I had received nine years earlier for another surgery. During those intervening years I had shared the shawl with others who were undergoing surgery or therapies of some sort. The shawl was always returned.
The day after surgery my roommate, who had had the same surgery by the same doctor, was in constant pain and crying a lot. Surprisingly I was nearly pain free.
As I prayed for her during the day, the first two lines of the Mission Prayer came to mind, “God, where will your Spirit lead today? Help me be fully awake and ready to respond.” In that moment, I knew the Holy Spirit was prompting me to give my shawl to this woman, because I no longer needed it.
In the moment of giving she exclaimed, “Oh, the prayer shawl!” She had heard me asking my husband for the shawl after surgery but did not know its significance. In that hospital room I had opportunity to share about the prayer, comfort, love, and promise of God’s presence that is stitched into creating every shawl.
When I left the hospital the next day, the woman and my prayer shawl remained. The shawl, although not returned this time, was still continuing its ministry of sharing God’s love and blessing.
Let your heart be broken for a world in need. -Bryan Jeffrey Leech, \xc2\xa9 1976 Fred Bock Music Company, Community of Christ Sings 353
Lament is an expression of our grief, sorrow, and sometimes confession to God amid the brokenness, injustice, and suffering of the human family. Lament is a major theme of the psalms and an invitation to “let our hearts be broken” as we humbly pray for awareness of right and restorative action. Spend time each day this month practicing the prayer of Lament.
Loving God, break my heart open to my own and others’ suffering because of injustice. Help me stay with what is real even when it is uncomfortable.
Forgiving God, grow in me an awareness of the ways that I consciously and unconsciously contribute to systems of violence, suffering, and injustice.
Healing God, open my eyes to invitations to relieve the physical and spiritual suffering of others.
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.