Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Little girl with her dogs...

Gratitude Journal
1. Prayer gardens - the gift of special places!
2. Prayer partners - the gift of people who care!
3. Prayer rope - the gift of intentionality!
4. Prayer with others - the gift of community!
5. Prayer - the gift of relationship!

Isaiah 52:6 "Therefore my people shall know my name. Therefore in that day they shall know that it is I who speak; here am I.”

Little girl with her dogs...

Right outside my office window is a statue. In fact there are several. But this particular one is bronze. There is a bench with a small child, a little girl with a pony tail, holding one puppy while another looks on from her right.

I have been very blessed to work in a place that provides spaces! Special places of refuge for those who are deeply wounded and struggling with pain. Generally that pain is psychic. It is not seen or most often not available to the naked eye. But it is there.

I have actually heard ministers and religious workers say they wish their wounds were visible for the world to behold. There might be more compassion and support. Yet, many live in a world of assumptions about the strength and courage and holiness pastors should display. They are dumped on by well-meaning folks who want their pastor to talk about God's laws, but not about God's grace. And there are times when the minister is dealing with the normal wounds of life - troubled kids, addictions, money issues, health concerns, trying to cover too many bases with too little time, etc. - that all families face. However, the message to the minister is not to share their grief or struggle. They are 'so close with God' that these matters should not be in the perfect picture of a minister and his/her family life. At the very least, not shared publicly.

Have you ever lived under such stress?

The statue is a gentle reminder that we are not alone. Someone calls out to us and we recognise the voice and delight in our presence. Someone is glad that we exist and that we are available. Whatever pain or difficulty we are welcomed to sit close and find joy.

Thank you God for prayer! And thank You for the reminders in my life - sometimes right outside my window - of Your LOVE...