Become the Word
By Julie Conway Sword of Gainesville, FL, USA
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. “Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.” —Psalm 46:1–3, 10 NRSV
We were living in a small town in southern Missouri. Near us, on the edge of town where new houses were springing up, was an old, run-down, one-room shack. I had seen an older man dressed in tattered clothing coming and going from that shack. As the days grew cooler, I wondered, “Does he have all he needs to survive the oncoming winter?”
My young children and I went to visit this gentleman. He welcomed us, although he was hesitant at first. We saw his bare necessities: a potbellied stove in the living room, a cot for sleeping, and a small closet-sized kitchen. We introduced ourselves, listened to his story, and asked what we could do for him. He named some food items he could use—especially fresh eggs. We had a prayer together before parting.
I felt a joy bubbling up in my heart as I shopped for this kind man that day. The grateful smile wreathing his face as I placed fresh eggs in his hands was heartwarming, and my neighbor and I continued to check on him throughout the winter.
Living out the acts of Jesus, we can become the Word to others. Let us show Christ’s compassionate belief in the worth of all persons.
Prayer for Peace
Compassionate God, help us feel the hunger and cold that grip some of your children. May this feeling prompt us to action—not only to feed and clothe but to correct the systems that cause the injustice. Help us find ways to bring justice.
Spiritual Practice: Honoring the Worth of All Persons
Read Psalm 139:13–18. After reading, sit quietly and let the words sink deeply into your mind, heart, and body. What thoughts and feelings do you have about being “fearfully and wonderfully made”?
Sense the intimate knowledge and love God has for you and everyone. Be aware of the sacred worth of each person. Weep with God over the soul-wounding forces and events that rob people of dignity and worth. How does God invite you to notice, protect, heal, and affirm the spiritual identity of all God’s beloved people today? Pray for God’s compassion.
Today, God, I will investigate what I can do to foster justice and bring peace.