“Commit to Prayer: Healing” by The Rev. Stephanie Kendell
There are so many incredible opportunities coming up to commit to the life of the church. Have you been finding new time to “talk with God” as we commit to prayer this month? Is it on your calendar to stay for the screening of The Rape of Recy Taylor after worship on Sunday? How about next week, will you join us for our next LatinX Language Lab on May 26th? And now that tax season is over, have you considered what you will give to the capital campaign? There are so many ways to support and participate in the ministries of The Park. We hope you will join us!
I was once waiting for a friend in surgery at the hospital and while my friends and I were waiting, a Doctor told us to go give blood if we could. When it was my turn, I prayed the whole time that my blood would be a source of healing for my friend should he need it. My friend ended up not needing it, so I asked the Doctor why he had made me give blood if it wasn’t going to save my friend. He said, “Giving that blood wasn’t for him but for you.” He knew that day at the hospital I was nervous for my friend, and he wanted me to remember that I had the capacity to heal both myself and others. When I prayed for healing as I donated blood, I pictured my friend. When God heard my prayer, God saw a much larger group of people. That day I was reminded I have O- blood. Meaning I am a universal donor.
I now give blood as often as I can. That day God was showing me everything I needed to see -healing and life-but I was too in my own way to notice it. I was reminded of that day when I read this week’s scripture. I wanted to be shown God’s power plainly-in the healing of my friend- all the while God was showing me new-life in everywhere else and in plain sight.
24 When the Temple authorities surrounded him and said,
“How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you really are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”
25 Jesus replied, “I did tell you, but you don’t believe.
The work I do in my Abba’s name gives witness in my favor,
26 but you don’t believe because you’re not my sheep.
27 My sheep hear my voice.
I know them, and they follow me.
28 I give them eternal life, and they will never be lost.
No one will ever snatch them from my hand.
29 Abba God, who gave them to me, is greater than
anyone, and no one can steal them from Abba God. (John 10:24b-29)
How many things going on around us are answered prayers? How many times do we think something is mundane, or worse a disappointment, and we wonder, “Where is God?” But when we take a step back-when we take a deep and prayerful breath away from-we open ourselves up to experience God at work in new ways; answering our prayers plainly for us to see and hear…reminding ourselves we believe.
Friends, as people of faith in the Christian Church we proclaim our belief in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ Jesus. That belief is because we witness in plain sight the work of God in our lives. But that doesn’t mean that we are free from doubt. Doubt that sometimes creeps in like a mouse. Doubt that often explodes like a volcano burning a hole in everything. But Doubt that can be addressed if we remember to look plainly at our world and see God at work. Look out at the divinity of diversity and be still in God’s presence. Doubt that can be turned into belief, if we listen with open minds for what God is saying. Letting go of listening for if God is speaking. Beloveds, this week, may we look and listen, and when we miss it, remember we have a community to help us hear and see the God right in front of us.
A quick prayer for your week: O Lord, keep speaking, even when I do not listen. Even when I do not hear you plainly. Amen