It has been a week that has been spiritually exhausting: as Kyle says in his recent post, “I am tired,” there has been an abundance of violence, injustice, anger, and even more commentary that veers towards “vitriolic and hateful words.”
So this week I’m going to focus my blog on an act that was defining within the community I serve. It was a demonstration of love and faith and family. It is not something that will make the headlines, but it certainly made the heartlines.
This morning, due to inclement weather, our annual parish prayer-and-picnic at the park had to be canceled. And so, a smaller than normal group of us gathered at the church to worship. During kids’ time, I mentioned that sometimes plan B has to happen, because life doesn’t always go the way we’ve planned. But I explained that even though our plans had changed, our faith had not – so if we had worshiped at the park, God would have been there. With us worshiping in the church, God was there. No matter where we were, when we spent time in worship and prayer, we know that God will always be with us.
As they trekked out to the hall for indoor picnic games, one little one (4 years old) stayed beside me, with a confused look on her face. Our conversation went like this:
Her: “God’s not here. God’s up in heaven.”
Me: “Yes, God is in heaven. But God’s also here with us.”
Her: “I don’t see God.”
Me: “None of us see God, but God is here. In our hearts. Whenever we feel love, we know God is with us.”
And then it happened. She smiled, nodded, and wrapped her arms around my neck so tightly that we both felt God.
She went off to Sunday School, and the rest of the congregation all “Awwww!”ed with me.
It was a hug. One of many. But a powerful one. In a world full of exhausting anger and hatred and injustice, love shines through. God shines through. And it is re-energising, rejuvenating, re-focusing, empowering.
I pray we might all find a moment of God in our lives today and every day. I pray we can all move beyond the tiredness of the world’s negativity and focus on the Good News of God’s love. It’s there – for us all; maybe not in the headlines, but definitely in the hug of a child – or the call from a friend – or prayers of the women’s group. Wherever it is for you, may you see it for what it is, embrace it for what it represents, and live it for the love of God’s world.