One of the most meaningful hymns in my life at one time was “Here I Am, Lord.” It touched my heart and led me into a life of serving God’s people in a way I had never before experienced. When we say, “Send me” many doors open into a world in need of friendship and caring. Happy Sunday.
On Sunday, our Associate Pastor, Monica, ended her sermon with the following story which I cannot help but share because it pertains to so many facets of life, especially family and friendships. It is truly something to consider, this falling away…
The story goes like this. “A member of the Church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the pastor grew concerned and decided to visit him. The pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for his pastor’s visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited.
The pastor made himself at home but said nothing. In the silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs. After some minutes, the pastor took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone …then he sat back in his chair, still silent.
The host watched all this in quiet contemplation. As the one lone ember’s flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and dead.
Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting. The pastor slowly stood up, picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.
As the pastor reached the door to leave, his host said ‘Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I’ll see you in Church next Sunday!”
Although some may not be seen in church next Sunday, how wonderful it would be to once again see them as part of the warmth.
If we were having coffee right now I would ask you how your life has been since we last met. You would tell me of a difficult situation you were dealing with, not knowing how to handle it, when without warning it was resolved to the benefit of all concerned.
If we were having tea right now…because you prefer it to coffee…I would tell you how much a recent lunch with friends meant to me…how I still smile thinking of the camaraderie and affection that was more nourishing than the delicious food.
If we were having coffee right now you would share with me how lonely you are after the passing of your loved one…how the days follow each other in meaningless order and the nights hold nothing but darkness and tears.
If we were having coffee right now I would reach across the table and hold your hand as you struggle to contain your grief. And I would say, “Don’t contain it, let it find its way where it will and be thankful you are alive enough to feel it.” And I would feel your pain.
If we were having coffee right now you would listen while I ranted on one of my pet peeves, like the supermarkets putting a sale price on a display of mixed merchandise, from which you choose an item you’re delighted to find at a reduced price until you get to the cashier and find out what you chose wasn’t part of the sale…grrr.
If we were having coffee right now you would tell me again that you need more faith, and I would tell you that God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life…you can believe that.
If we were having coffee right now…or tea because you prefer it to coffee…we would have enjoyed our time together enough to say, “Let’s do this again soon.”
Until then, may all your problems be resolved, may all your friendships be meaningful, may your times of grief have longer intervals, and for my part…thanks for listening. My load is lighter right now because we had coffee together…or tea, because you prefer it.
If we were having coffee right now, I would ask you, “So, what’s new and interesting in your life?” Hopefully, you would then relate to me your hopes and dreams and sorrows. You would tell me about your son having cancer, your daughter finding a nice place to live with her boyfriend to whom she recently became engaged; your brand new baby girl being the new center of your universe; your hopes to be a catalyst in restoring harmony to fractured friendships.
If we were having coffee right now, I would share that my book, My Precious Life, has caught the eye of an Indigo/Chapters store and a future book signing is in the offing. I would tell you that a new and extremely expensive cholesterol lowering drug has been offered to me, and is completely covered by my drug plan, allowing me access to a potentially life-saving medication.
If we were having coffee right now, I would thank you for being in my life and tell you how much I appreciate you. I would thank you for being my friend, my family, my go-to in times of happiness and in times of distress. If we were having coffee right now, I wouldn’t be sitting here all alone blogging up a storm.
If we were having coffee right now, I would explain that WordPress began a twenty day blogging assignment offering an assortment of topics to write about. This is number eleven and is about a virtual coffee date. I wouldn’t want you thinking that my latest posts were my own idea. They stemmed from #everydayinspiration and have been really good discipline for me to pick up a theme and run with it. Some have been very well received and some not so much, but in the end I’ve noticed many new followers, and more comments than usual.
If we were having coffee right now, it would be time for me to bid you adieu and thank you for being here and sharing this virtual coffee date. Until next time…
A few days ago I shared a joke which had come my way. It was about people being angry and not talking to each other, but it was written to be humorous and indeed it was.
However, anger is a poisonous emotion to the one who harbors it. There are many, many things that make us angry in day to day life, whether in the media, a family, a workplace, friendships, and yes, even in a church.
The thing about anger is to feel it, acknowledge it, speak about it if we must, but then try to get rid of it as soon as possible. It can be healthy to realize that there are things that do make us angry, that everything in life is not fair, or just, or even acceptable. We may justify what makes us angry, but whether or not we are justified is something only we can decide after a good long soul search.
Anger is a very natural reaction to unnatural behaviors. But a festering anger can itself cause unnatural behaviors in the person who harbors it, and it can be poisonous…very poisonous.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger…Ephesians 4:31
Easier said than done, but healthier in the long run…don’t let it fester.
Today is a day for remembering. We remember those who fought for our freedom, who died for our freedom, and who are still alive today to enjoy that freedom.
A friend and I are meeting for lunch today to remember as well, two very special people in our lives…our lifelong best friends, both of whom are in a different world of freedom…heaven.
We will also remember other loved ones who have left our lives through the mystery of death, gone but not forgotten.
Remembering is a soulful act in that it touches our souls the way our love for all these people touched our hearts.
Be blessed as you remember today…
And from the greatest teacher who ever lived, “Do this in remembrance of me.”