Meditation, Prayers, and Assorted Stuff for April 22 2020
Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey, “Being Sent Into the World”
Each of us has a mission in life. Jesus prays to his Father for his followers, saying, “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world” (John 17:18).
We seldom realize fully that we are sent to fulfill Godgiven tasks. We act as if we have to choose how, where, and with whom to live. We act as if we were simply dropped down in creation and have to decide how to entertain ourselves until we die. But we were sent into the world by God, just as Jesus was. Once we start living our lives with that conviction, we will soon know what we were sent to do.
Here’s a meditation and prayer from the Catholic Health Association of the United States.
“And the word of the LORD came to [Elijah]: ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’ He replied, ‘I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.’ The LORD said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.’
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?'” (1 Kings 19, NIV).
We are living through a period of deep disruption, chaos and anxiety. The things and people we hold most dear have been separated from us and the normal order of life has been utterly upended. The prophet Elijah was in a similar place. Rejected by his people, chased by his government, he was the last prophet in the land of Israel. Lonely and afraid, disconnected and heartbroken, Elijah waits for God.
God does not arrive in wind. God does not arrive in an earthquake. God does not arrive in a fire. The creator of all that is and was and is to come, is present in the gentle whisper.
God is in the gentle whisper. Though the wind rages, the earth shakes and fire scorches all we see, God will be there, close enough to whisper peace to our weary hearts.
As we navigate this pandemic, may we remember the absolute tenderness and perpetual closeness of God. In all the chaos and fear, God is always close enough that we can hear the divine whisper in our hearts.
God of silence and stillness, we trust you are with us in this time of noise and chaos. We pray for an end to this pandemic. Whisper your words of comfort, encouragement and hope to all who need them in these days of fear. Draw close to those who are sick and all those who risk illness, caring for them, protecting and uplifting them. In Your name, we pray. Amen.
Back to The Far Side!
Time for a bit more armchair travelling. Here’s an article listing what it claims are the most scenic drives in every state.
We all have our days…just like this cat, whose tasty meal stays just out of reach.
Take a look at the winners in The Washington Post’s Squirrel Week 2020 contest.
These sites are good to go to for a little perspective. This one will ask you to enter your birthdate, and then give you a variety of statistics, including how many
times your heart has pumped and your eyes have blinked in your lifetime. Follow up with NASA, who will show you a picture that the Hubble Space Telescope took on your birthday.
And, finally, proving once again that we now have too much time on our hands, a man in England rewrites the lyrics to Yesterday, then records the song as a quartet, singing all four parts himself.
Stay safe and stay well!