Daily Bread August 03

Generous Hazel
Andrew Fox of Clay Cross, Derbyshire, England

Open your hearts and feel the yearnings of your brothers and sisters who are lonely, despised, fearful, neglected, unloved. Reach out in understanding, clasp their hands, and invite all to share in the blessings of community created in the name of the One who suffered on behalf of all. Do not be fearful of one another. Respect each life journey, even in its brokenness and uncertainty, for each person has walked alone at times. Be ready to listen and slow to criticize, lest judgments be unrighteous and unredemptive. -Doctrine and Covenants 163:3a-b

Kate is a Church of England vicar who regularly appears on British television. Recently Kate shared about a lady called Hazel who attends her church and helps out at weddings. Apparently it took some persuading to get Hazel involved because she was worried she didn’t have posh enough clothes to be a wedding verger (attendant). When Kate told her she wasn’t bothered about what Hazel wore, Hazel said, “Yes, but it’s not your wedding, is it?”

Hazel smiles at everyone. She arrives about two hours before each wedding. She vacuums, dusts, keeps a sewing kit in her cupboard for wayward buttons, and makes sure there are warm drinks for the minister and organist.

On an occasion when Hazel was not well, Kate thought she could manage without her, but suddenly realized just how much Hazel does. The seats for the bridesmaids went unreserved. The best man’s fly (zipper) was down (Hazel always checks!). When a guest had a coughing fit halfway through the ceremony, no one brought her a glass of water.

Kate also shared about the occasion when she gave Hazel some flowers. A few days later Kate noticed the same bouquet in Hazel’s neighbor’s window. “I am sorry, Kate. I’m not ungrateful,” Hazel explained. “I just thought the old lady next door would like them better.”

My life has been blessed over the years by many humble people such as Hazel who often go unnoticed while providing invaluable ministry in the background. My life is far better because of their love and care for me and others.

Prayer Phrase

“… the breath of the Almighty gives me life” (Job 33:4).

Spiritual Practice

Breathing God’s Compassion

Pay attention to your breathing and let it become calmer and deeper as you focus on God’s presence. Ask God to breathe in you. Imagine each breath carrying the light of God into your lungs, bloodstream, and every cell in your body until God’s Spirit fills you. Now imagine breathing out God’s compassion and grace each time you exhale, especially into places and situations in need of loving care. Give thanks to the Spirit, source of every breath, source of life.

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.

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