But if I say, "I will not mention him or speak any more in his name," his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.
~ Jeremiah 20: 9
"I have made it to the mountain, I can surely make it through the valley."
Encouraging words shared, and encouragement received. Our words to one another can make a huge difference. While visiting with a woman in her final days of life, her words to her family were filled with promises. "I know that God will be there to meet me when I take that last breath, because God was with me on the day that I took my first."
Driving along rain-soaked roads yesterday, the dreary weather had done more than dampen clothes. My spirit was feeling a little wet as well. I have to admit, some days are just difficult. I have learned over the years to take each visit and nicely package them in a place in my mind where I can then move on to my next patient. However, on rainy, cloudy days, the weather doesn't help my brain to cooperate, and so I am left feeling many things.
On days like these, my mind turns to God and wonders how it is that God is able to relate to us so independently, while also addressing entire communities when there has been a need? A flood in one community, winter storm in another, a missing child, or a war in another, can bring about waves of people reaching out, while the simple prayer of a child asking that God bless his "Mommy and Daddy, along with my dog Ralph," receives the same attention.
In a single moment we are reminded that each of us are God's "beloved." From the very beginning of humanity we have remained God's most precious among all creation. Even when we seemed to have lost hope, overwhelmed by the events of the world, and not knowing where to turn. This is why God then sent Jesus. Each day, whether sunny or cloudy, God pursues after us, seeking to find ways to love us so that we might understand how to love one another better. It is in these moments that we fully understand our need to support and love one another.
The words of the woman I spent time with yesterday reminded, not just her family, but all of us, that the love of God compels us to speak words of hope, faith and love to one another.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.