Wendy Newell Dyer of Beals, ME, USA
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. -Ephesians 2:13-14
I recently returned to the church after being away for more than a decade. I left in the midst of my husband’s ten-and-a-half-year, nonstop battle with prostate cancer. Along the way, I lost (or so I thought) my faith in God and in the church. As a result, I wandered alone in the “wilderness” for what seems like an eternity.
It took me several years to stop being mad at God for the hand that I had been dealt. I could not reconcile in my mind how God could allow the suffering I witnessed at the end of my husband’s human journey. I spent years trying to accept his illness and death, doing most of my grieving and contemplation alone.
Several months ago, I realized what was missing in my life was the sense of community I had felt within the church throughout most of my life. I missed my church family, and I missed the experience of gathering with like-minded people to try to make sense of this world and my place in it.
Attending church that first Sunday, I was very apprehensive. I didn’t know how I would be received after all these years. My fears quickly left when I was literally welcomed with open arms by the person who greeted me at the door. Someone else immediately came to sit with me, and for the first time in a very long time, I no longer felt alone.
I realize now how greatly the people in the church have loved me, even when I was not in their midst. They have been there with open arms all of these years hoping for my return. Most of all, I can now see how God was right there beside me all along. He did not leave me. He was just waiting for me to come home.
I am about to do a new thing, now it springs forth… (Isaiah 43:19).
A New Thing
Breathe deeply and listen within. Where is the Spirit doing a new thing in you? How do you feel about the new thing that might be emerging? Are you excited, resistant, fearful, hopeful? Take whatever you are experiencing to prayer. Breathe deeply and listen around you. Where is the Spirit doing a new thing in your community? Pay attention to how it feels to discern the Spirit’s activity and presence within and around you.
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.