In a Far Richer Way
By Charles Kornman, formerly of Grand Junction, CO, USA
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. —Romans 15:13 NRSV
In the 1950’s the church assigned me to minister in Ontario, Canada. While visiting with one of the pastors, he told me he had a friend he’d like me to visit. He introduced me to Donna. She was 8 years old and had an advanced form of cancer.
After a few visits, I started making appointments for future visits. She’d be sitting in her wheelchair watching for me. Even though it was incredibly painful for her, she wanted her mother to put her on my lap. This 35-year-old minister and this 8-year-old girl came to love each other deeply. Each visit would end in prayer, in which we felt the gentle Spirit of God. I began to realize Donna was going to be healed. I just knew it!
I went away for reunions and youth camps. When I came back, Donna was dead. This news devastated me. If I couldn’t trust those feelings of assurance I had, I couldn’t trust anything. Those days crept by on leaden feet as I struggled to minister in other congregations.
One night, in prayer, I became aware of an “opening” in the darkness, and I heard Donna say, “Uncle Chuck, thank you for making my last few days on Earth so happy.” She was healed—perhaps not like I wanted, but in a far richer way. Trust the wisdom of God.
Prayer for Peace
Compassionate and Merciful God, we trust in your loving care. We trust in your vision of the peaceable kingdom. Trust us to share that vision.
Spiritual Practice: An Offering of Ashes
God promises to heal our wounds and losses. Hold (or imagine holding) a pinch of ashes in your hands as you become aware of circumstances in your life, family, congregation, and the world that are broken, lost, or falling apart. Be honest with God about the fear, sadness, or burden you feel. Offer the ashes to God in prayer. Ask God to create beauty, peace, and healing in the places and people who now experience the ashes of despair and grief.
Today, God, I will trustingly yield to your wisdom.