Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. Isaiah 12:2
It’s Tell Me Something Good Monday! This morning I’ve been reflecting on some recent and not so recent events. Last week was tough. However, I was able to rest on Saturday and put my thoughts into perspective.
First, a few years ago a friend that I had reached out to in a time of tragedy, stood up in a public meeting and announced that I was racist. Am I? I would like to think not. I grew up in the midst of racism, so I have made a concerted effort to break this pattern. Then again, maybe we all are racist or prejudice in one way or another to a degree. Was I racist toward this friend? Without a doubt, I tell you no. That night I left in tears, went to church and prayed for a long time. I remember thinking of the lyrics in the song “Be Held” by Casting Crowns. Last week the person making the accusations came to me in friendship. I didn’t ask for anything, just took the friendship request as a blessing.
Second, about a year to two years ago, I told my husband, “God wants me to take on the role of Crucifer/Lay Reader”. For those of you who don’t know, it is a role during the church service where you lead the church in readings and prayers, and help the minister with the Eucharist (communion). I could have taken on this role at anytime. All I had to do was ask to be placed on the rotating list of volunteers. As a matter of fact, I knew the church was in need of more volunteers. Yet, I didn’t do it. Why? I had fear in my heart. So, I kept on trying to improve my skills thinking that one day I would surprise everyone and volunteer.
Yesterday morning I woke up hardly able to move. The weather has been rainy and it takes a toll on my joints. I was so tempted to go back to bed, but I knew that I had a commitment to teach Sunday School. So, I got ready and left early for church with my husband. In retrospect, after I started getting ready, I felt better. So, I sat down in the pew, said a prayer and pulled out my sermon journal. I’ve been keeping notes the last few weeks just to reflect on. That’s when I looked up to see our minister. He said “I need help” looking into my eyes. I responded “with what?” His mother has been unwell and I had told him that I was willing to help him anytime. He said “with everything”. Wow! You know what that means. I said “I’ve never done that.” That wasn’t a problem, he was willing to walk me through it.
So, I very nervously followed his instructions. I sat down on the pew at the front of the church and almost slid onto the floor. I couldn’t remember what to say before the readings, so I just did the best I could. After the first reading instead of saying “the Word of the Lord”, I said “the Lord of the Word.” Then, I carried the Gospel down the aisle for the minister to read. As he was reading, I was holding up what seemed like a huge book. At one point, my world starting growing black around the corners and I thought I was going down, but I made it through that too. Then, I started trying to memorize the one line that I needed to say as I took the wine around. As I helped the minister prepare the gifts of God, I was thinking to myself “the Blood of Christ, the cup of salvation” over and over. I made it through that too. I was so worried about all what I was supposed to do, that I missed the sermon. I guess Satan was working on me. Now, I know that I can handle that role. When I think about it, I have more people in Sunday School than we had in church yesterday. It was the mere idea of the new role.
Finally, the last two days I have woke up with a song on my mind. Funny, I haven’t heard this song in many years. So, I’m sharing it with you today, just in case someone needs to hear it.
I hope you guys have a few stories to share with me. Don’t let fear stop you in your tracks. God bless you.