You Answer before We Call
By Jeannine Ward of West Des Moines, IA, USA
We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to God’s purpose.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. —Romans 8:28, 38–39 NRSV, adapted
I had the privilege to serve as staff for our delegation at SPECTACULAR, a World Church event for high school youth. The theme for 2012 was “NOTHING… can separate us from the love of God.” The first staff gathering reminded me of a decision I had made 27 years ago. Now I needed to put that decision into words.
In July 1983, my family lost a son and a brother. Joel was 18 when he collapsed during a high school baseball game, and doctors never determined the exact cause of death. Losing someone so close to me, my childhood playmate and new adult friend, was a defining experience for me.
Through the sacrament of administration and the support of many, I knew God was not leaving me alone through this family tragedy. The gift of a plane ticket and having someone who knew my family meet me during an airport layover blessed me as well. I rescheduled an opportunity to record with the Graceland Ramblers in Vancouver, British Columbia. All these worked together to help me get through my heartache.
In 1997 I moved to Calgary, Alberta. It was my joy to find the congregation’s preschool Christmas program presented the music we had recorded each year. God’s presence has always been with me; the community continued to ease my burden.
Recently I had the chance to attend the prayer for peace in the Temple. The prayer, written by Danny Belrose, began, “You answer before we call.” This reminder that I had not let death separate me from the love of God is important. God answered before I had time to even think about calling out to the Divine.
Prayer for Peace
Listening God, I was just about to ask you for something when I realized you have already responded. Help me be aware of the times I should say “thank you” instead of “please.”
Spiritual Practice: Offering Blessings of Community
Receive and share Blessings of Community. Begin with a prayer of gratitude for the friendships in your life. See and feel connections with family members, spiritual friends, people in your congregation and community, and people and creatures in God’s sacred web of life. What blessings flow to you from these circles? How have you felt the love of God through the blessings of community?
Today, God, I will share with others the many ways the community has blessed me.