The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
~ John 21:17
This morning I am struggling to find words. I don't ever surrender to the thought of "writer's block," because even when I can't seem to find the words to write how I am feeling, I always can find the words to describe what this feels like. I am reminded that even in the silence, there exists a word for that.
Each of us are the instrument that God chooses to reveal God's presence in the world today.
For some reason this morning I am struck by the question that Jesus asked Peter, "Do you love me? Do you love me?"
I think it is because right now I am uncertain. Not uncertain in the sense that I fail to love Jesus, but the fact that I seem to fail in other areas. I do believe that after nearly four months of living in the pandemic, I am beginning to doubt.
I am reminded that I cannot remove my eyes from "the prize," but yet, I am struck by the fact that I am looking down. I stare at the floor, and I am struck by how my feet no longer seem to move. I am stuck. I am stuck. I am reminded of a sermon that I heard years ago by a colleague who shared, "At some point, we all must learn to live as if we are Christian living in exile."
Somehow this exile is supposed to become something that will bear fruit and enrich our lives. We are all beginning to realize that the place that we once "knew," will not be the place that we return. We all are different because everything is different. It's as if we are being asked to remain contemplative in the midst of the whirlwind. This morning I seem to recognize that we are all living in such a wounded world right now. It's as if we are being invited to fully realize our intimate relationship with Jesus. If by some miracle, this experience will make us better instruments to serve and love one another.
It's as if we are being reminded that we are in communion with Christ, and that we are in communion with all people. We need to take this opportunity to see one another as brothers and sisters.
Perhaps my loss for words is because I am struggling. In my faith, spirituality, love and hope. I understand that we must find solidarity with the marginalized, work to live out our steadfast love for our enemies, and reconciliation with all people as our sisters and brothers. I always strive to tell others who are discouraged that "God loves" them, while struggling to hear these words for myself.
We live in a world that needs the manifestation of Christ. We are living in a time where we can no longer "talk" about love, but must radiate God's love. We must engage in the effort. We cannot let the image of fearful, angry people reveal the demons that exist. This is what death wants from us.
I am reminded that we live, not in the shadow of the cross, but in the light of one who has been resurrected!
As I finish this post, I have left the silence, and have found the image of the One who meets each of us with outstretched hands, who made the choice to be with each of us on days like this.
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 at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.