I always celebrate the astronomical change of seasons; usually with a prayer for the new season and giving special attention to the wildlife and plants in my backyard. Today marks the Summer Solstice…the longest day…slightly more than 15 hours of daylight. Amazing! As your day unfolds, make the most of the abundant gift of light.
I enjoy walking…especially early morning walks. When I walk early in the morning, it seems as though it is just God and myself – me talking and God listening; sometimes God talking and me listening – of course, usually surrounded by birdsong! Those moments ground me and fill my soul.
Referring to the balm in Gilead, our friend Jeremiah seems to promote the idea that spiritual healing for Israel and Judah was readily available through God. The Lord served as the balm that could totally heal and completely restore the pains and hurts of the nation. Our Lord still does that for us today.
I was thinking this morning as I was dodging the raindrops, that we would likely cancel our outdoor Memorial Service following worship. Once inside the church building, I shook off my coat and hung it up. For a moment, I laughed a little. Those rain drops were clinging to – resting’ – on my coat. While I was disappointed about canceling the outdoor service, I also knew how much we needed the rain of the past few days. In this case, each rain drop was a blessing. (referring to Psalm 90: 17a – May the blessings of the Lord rest upon us.) These thoughts led me to write the following…
The rain is falling gently now, well-past a stormy night; The shades of grey we see today, keep the sun from shining bright. Each day we take behind the other – the psalmist tells us so; That our hearts may understand the sweet blessings God bestows – even rain.
I stepped outside on my patio this morning to see if the wind was rushing through the trees. At 5:30am, it was not. But at this writing, there is a spirit breeze now sweeping through the trees and flowers. Come, Holy, Spirit, Come!
Sometimes, it is just too hard to even think about climbing that mountain. Sometimes, it is too hard to find enough energy to finish the day’s work. Sometimes, loving another doesn’t come easy; it is painful. Sometimes, the tears fall and we do not know why. Be the one who reaches out your hand and to be a light, a breath of fresh air, to someone in need.
We are called by Jesus to ‘love one another as Jesus loved us.’ Today, as I listen to the rain fall, I am reminded of the way I sometimes consider rain…each drop a prayer. Especially today, I am thinking of each drop of rain as a prayer to love one another.
How do you define ‘neighbor’? The one who watches your dog when you are on vacation? The one who invites you to watch the Super Bowl? The one you never formally met but always waves and smiles to you from across the street when you get your morning paper? The one who always borrows your rake? Then there are neighbors who we do not know, whose face we do not see, who need our help.
Every year, Bethlehem Emergency Sheltering helps our street neighbors in Bethlehem. The most recent report of Bethlehem Emergency Sheltering (May 4, 2021) included the following information of its past season: the shelter served175 men and women, totaled 4,565 bed nights and 2,200 volunteer hours (thank you!). In addition, 14% of those men and women were able to acquire some type of housing. Amazing ministry!
I invite you to consider donating to this ministry. Visit bethlehememergencysheltering.org or visit my FB page.
Every day is a new day – true. Each dawning with a blank canvas the moment we open our eyes. Be creative, as you paint your new day! Embrace its unfoldings with grace and compassion. Color it with love and light!