Refuge in the Time of Trouble
By Barb Kernohan of Richmond, Ontario, Canada
The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD;
he is their refuge in the time of trouble.
The LORD helps them and rescues them;
he rescues them from the wicked, and saves them,
because they take refuge in him. -Psalm 37:39-40
A phone call from someone I had met at our local diner’s Luncheon for Seniors changed my Saturday. She asked, “Are you the one who knows some Syrian families?” My answer was yes.
One of her friends from Ottawa had knitted two large bags of scarves and toques (tight-fitting, knitted hats) to give specifically to those who came to Canada from Syria. She had heard me speak about the Syrian family we were sponsoring and waiting to receive into our village from a refugee camp in Turkey. The mother’s name was Neema.
I had met Neema’s sister and two of her three sons who live in Kanata, and I knew they might need some of the knitted items. Also, my grandson Owen had a friend from school whose family came from Syria. His mother also knew the family as she worked with the boy’s father. Small world!
I packed up the extra knitted items, picked up Owen, and we delivered them to his friend’s family. The family knew people who could use a warm toque and scarf.
One day when my daughter was at this family’s home, she asked about the many boxes stacked in the hallway. They were filled with food for Syrian families who recently arrived in Canada. Seemingly small acts of kindness can make a lasting impact. How can you help others?
“Awake, my soul!” (Psalm 57:8 NRSV)
The Prayer of the Heart
Early Christian disciples desired to take seriously the scripture mandate to pray “without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). The prayer of the heart invites us to pray “continuously” by repeating and returning to a prayer phrase planted for intentional reflection and deepening. Choose a word or phrase (from scripture, hymnody, or personal reflection) that has meaning for you. The Jesus Prayer is one form of the prayer of the heart: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me” (Luke 18:35-43). Invite this simple phrase to repeat in your heart throughout the day, awakening your soul to God’s presence.
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.