The valley of the shadow of death…

Holy God,

You sure do have a sense of humor.

The week that was supposed to be quiet so that I could procrastinate and finish editing my ordination paperwork has turned into chaos.

This season of birth and life has become a time of remembrance and mourning for many families as they say goodbye to loved ones.

And you bless me with the honor of walking with them through that valley of the shadow of death.

I hold that task sacred and pray that you will help me lead them faithfully… despite my distracted spirit.

On this day when I thought I would have the quiet of a warm office to write in, you have graced me with an elevator that rings constantly at a high pitched frequency… and service calls that need to be made.

When I want to bask in the still, small light of the advent wreath ablaze and the Christ Candle shining brightly in its midst, the wicks seem to have a mind of their own and I’m sure to set off fire alarms with their foot high flames.

The quiet innocence of our children’s pageant on Christmas Eve, turned into a chorus of wild angels as they ran and leaped and jumped and sang all throughout the sanctuary.

The family that I have held so close all of these years now brings tears to my eyes and pain in my heart… and yet you bring me other family members as well, some blood related, others chosen, to see me through the darkness.  And you bring my own family closer together as we care for one another’s spirits and try to be honest and faithful.

I am not at all where I want to be emotionally or spiritually right now.  And yet, I am constantly reminded that you are right there with me.

And I thank you.

Amen.

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