While in God's Grip!
Where morning dawns and evening fades you call forth songs of joy.
~ Psalm 65:8
Yesterday I spent time with a beautiful Korean family. Their matriarch was beautifully dressed and resting peacefully as she slowly is letting go of this life, with one foot here, and the other, gladly in the next.
I listened as they shared of their love for Jesus, and how they all were part of the Korean Presbyterian Church. "Jesus saved us," was said more than just a reminder of salvation, especially as they shared of leaving North Korea at a very difficult time, and how "blessed," they were to find "America."
While their son is a missionary, and the other, a pastor, they invited me to come and be with them at the bedside and to pray for their mother.
I cannot express what it feels like to hear the words of your prayer being translated into a language you do not understand, but know the spirit of the intention of the words being lifted. As I prayed, I would stop, and listen to what was being said. Without realizing, I was caught up in the moment, and continued to pray. I don't remember all that I said, but what I do remember is thinking, "This is the realization of Jesus' words, 'May they all be one.'"
Jesus exists in each of us. We acknowledge His presence every time we consider our neighbor, and recognize the Holy in one another. When we realize we are the "Beloved," and that we are being called to walk across the road and render aid to those who are different than us. It is in these moments that I discover that a man who grew up nearly 7,000 miles from me loves the same Jesus that I love.
As I prepared to leave, one of the men asked that I gather with their family and provide a blessing for their father who sits and watches as his wife of over sixty years prepares to leave him. I was met with the words of Paul, "We are no longer strangers and foreigners, but are fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God."
Encounters like these remind me that none of us are ever alone. We belong to a greater community, and that in these moments we begin to to experience them as the rich variety of ways in which God makes God's presence known to us.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2020
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.