He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.
And do not bring us to the time of trial.”
~ Luke 11:1 - 4
Last evening I stopped along the highway at Santa Fe High School where ten people were killed last Friday. As I walked up to the memorial that has been created, a small group was off to the side praying. As I stood there, looking at the crosses, each with a name of a person who was killed, I began to hear these words, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."
Those of us present began to join those praying. From the other side of the display, out to the roadway, and among people just arriving the prayer grew in strength as others joined our voices.
They say the light from a single candle can light up an entire room, and that the light of God cannot be overcome by the darkness, even when the darkness seems to be surrounding us.
There was peace. There were still tears. There was love.
I am reminded that our relationship with God was designed to be simple. Just as a parent knows the voice of their own child, even when that voice is in a crowd, God knows each of us just like this.
The presence of strangers in a field among these markers served as a reminder for me that we also know one another's voice when we join together in saying these words. It is how I imagine our home in heaven, where we all will know one another, but in a place where all the things that divide us will no longer exist.
For just a moment last night I forgot that we were strangers, and when that happened, there we found God's reminder that "on earth, as it is in heaven," is possible always. Even now among strangers, and those who, in the light of God, cannot be overcome by the darkness that tried to surround us.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.