Peace in Memories
Joann Gill of Mobile, AL, USA
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit. -Psalm 51:10-12
As the wife of a pastor of a small southern church, some days are good, some days are not so good, and some days you experience a miracle. One such experience came on a cold winter day several years ago as I was visiting with a friend after a midday prayer meeting at our little white church. As I had watched him lovingly care for his beloved wife who suffered with Alzheimer’s disease, I shared with him how my grandmother had also struggled with this well into her 90s. As the mother of 12 children, she grieved for her babies that she was sure she could hear crying somewhere near. I related how my aunts had the idea to give her a baby doll to love and hold as she tried to survive life in a nursing home. I suggested that such a doll might comfort his wife since she had faithfully served in the church nursery for many years.
Later that week, he shared the story while at the local barbershop. It was no coincidence that a lady overheard the story and slipped out to her car to retrieve a brand-new dolly that she “just happened to have.” My gentleman friend then placed the baby in his wife’s arms, and he witnessed a peace that passes all understanding coming over her and reigning in her heart and mind since that day. If she is awake, she is holding her baby ever so tightly. What a miraculous God, to bring to mind and have a simple pastor’s wife share a memory, a husband share a story, and a stranger share a baby doll. What a loving God we serve. Who knows but that I was brought here, like Queen Esther, for just such a time as this?
“Over the years we melt into what we seek” (Joan Chittister, The Liturgical Year).
We are in the threshold between seasons in the Christian calendar. You may have been noticing the physical transitions of the seasons wherever you live as some enter the depths of winter and others the warmth of summer. The seasons are a visible reminder that even among the most predictable rhythms and routines of our lives, change is always happening. The events of our moments, days, weeks, years form us and transform us over time. We enter each season different from when we arrived here last. This is the nature of this cyclical journey of faith. In these final days of the Christian calendar and the season of Ordinary time, there is opportunity to take a sacred pause, to notice how you arrive in this threshold. What have you been formed by this year? What has been deepening you as you’ve lived through another cycle of this life of faith?
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.