A few weeks ago I was diagnosed with shingles. The week before that I had strep throat. A few weeks before that my children started a new school year and the church program year began. A few weeks before that my mother died of dementia.I’m 35.
If there is a verse that I have preached to myself, if there is a promise that I have held onto, it is this one. God equips us for what God calls us do in our lives. In my family, God equips us to homeschool and to care for orphans and to pray for troubled marriages.
Last month, I gathered with a group of women communicators for a five-day retreat in northern Idaho. We’d been together over Zoom calls for several months by that point, but found ourselves itchy for a little face-to-face interaction.
“Grandma, where’s your mean picture?” asks my seven-year old grandson.“Mean” picture? Our house is full of family photos, paintings, icons – but I can’t think of any “mean” pictures.
Saint Simon and Saint Jude are an odd couple; they are a strange pair of saints to observe together. They are not brothers, as some linked saints are. They are not martyrs who died on the same day. They are not saints whose names are linked together again and again in scripture. Instead, it seems that the only reason that they are observed together is that they are the two disciples about whom we know the least.
A priest friend once confessed to me that he had been years out of seminary before he realized that, throughout his life, he had spent all of his time talking about God rather than to God. He had been excited by the idea of God, by all the accoutrements around worship, and by the call to justice. In all his excitement, it took some time before he realized that he had missed the central piece.
This morning in devotions, I saw myself in Peter. I didn’t reflect Pentecost evangelical Peter or stepping out of the boat Peter, but anxiety ridden at the cross Peter. Peter, how I wish I related to one of your more shining moments.
“Hey Mom, it’s a new world record…I lost my lunchbox on the first day of school!”This declaration from my newly minted 7th grader should have made me angry, or at least frustrated. Instead, I found myself laughing with relief and genuine glee; the pressure was off already.
Teenagers often believe that they are the first humans ever to have discovered sex. The world-altering swells of feeling and emotion—or the seeming opposite of being let down by the whole experience—feels as revolutionary to each of us as any human walking on the moon.
Where did you see God today? Where are you in the story?