By Betty Williams of Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada
Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation. Let me hear what God the Lord will speak peace to the people, to the faithful, to those who turn to God in their hearts. —Psalm 85:7–8 NRSV, adapted
Not long ago we were shopping in a large department store. My husband Barry suggested we have lunch there. He went for hot dogs, and I got the drinks. Being in a motorized wheelchair, I was having a hard time holding the drinks and steering the chair at the same time.
Someone was watching. A woman saw me, and quickly picked up our drinks and took them to a table. She moved her grocery cart aside so I could pull up to the end of the table. Barry found me, and I told him how the woman had helped me. We both thanked her and began to visit with her.
I learned she had lost her husband not long before. I asked her about him and his career, which got her talking. As we said our goodbyes, I felt like I had been sitting with an exceptionally kind person.
She showed compassion when she saw me struggling. And I felt I helped her in the only way I could at the time, by listening and appreciating her, a woman alone. God is so good to us and watches out for us all the time. God sends servants to help when we need help, and surprises us with opportunities to help those who serve.
Prayer for Peace
Steadfast God, why are we surprised by the deeds of your loving servants? Help us have faith that when we need you, you will be there—in one person or another. May we speak peace to one another as you speak peace to us.
Spiritual Practice: Praying with a Partner
Pray with a partner if possible, or imagine Christ sitting with you. The heart is a center of compassion and spiritual connection. Stand or sit across from your partner with hands open and palms up. Invite your partner to place his or her hands, palms down, on your hands. Close your eyes and be aware of the connection between your heart and your partner’s heart. What needs, feelings, or longings do you sense? Invite God’s presence to flow into you and move from your heart to the heart of your partner. Feel or see God’s healing light and love flowing between your hearts. After silent prayer, thank God and your partner. Close your prayer. (You also may pray this prayer by imagining a particular person across from you.)
Today, God, I will carefully look around to see where I am needed.