The last four weeks my attention has focused on spiritual writing, workplace ministry, and church music. Through taking a spiritual writing course taught by Jonathan Callard and offered by the folks at Creative NonFiction, my understanding of the genre has grown, as has my insight into what it is I want to write. As some of you who have been following this blog know, I have been working on a book for sometime. My writing pilgrimage has nearly as many twists and turns in it as my spiritual journey.
13 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it.
The Gospel According to Matthew, Chapter 7, Verses 13-14
Through my workplace ministry as a chaplain, God has provided me with a frontrow seat giving witness to people’s fears, frustrations, anxieties, and discouragement. Many places I visit are filled with men (and women), who feel empty and lonely amid the isolation that the pandemic has wrought upon us. They are desperate and discouraged. People, especially men, who are desperate and discouraged, don’t tend to do wise things. Nothing good happens when a man is isolated, alone and enveloped by darkness. I know. I’ve been there.
In a complete juxapostition, I also encounter men and women who are ready to move on past this pandemic faster than a misguided one-night stand. “Get me outta here,” they seem to be shouting at the top of their lungs. Yet, they don’t feel like the world around them is listening. Some of them opt to remain silent because we inhabit a world where seemingly everything is an offense waiting to happen. “We live in a world of butt-hurts,” one man recently told me. “Everyone is ready to be offended by everything.”
At a time when people are hurting and struggling. frustration and discouragement are plentiful and running rampant over our hearts, souls, and minds, sapping all our strength in the process. Yet, I am hopeful. Why? Because everyday God graciously provides me with an opportuntiy to have a postive impact on someone’s life. I am incredibly glad for that gift of God’s grace.
One of my weekly blessings is being part of our church worship team. For me, music is a means to spend time with God and often an opportuntiy for Him to speak to me. I love the people I get to play with every week, as we worship God through the gift of music He has given each of us. For me, this is a place of solace and camaradrie that replenishes my soul.
On Tuesday, I turn 55. Yep, double nickels. Looking back on my life, I see God’s handprints all over it. I’ve come to understand that He brought me through the darkness in order to be His salt and light here during my time on Earth. The Lord knows that we live in a time in desperate need of more of Him and less of me.
My neice B just turned 5. There is half a century difference in age bewteen us. I wonder what the world will be like 50 years from now. I pray for God’s love and mercy on her and the children of her generation. May He provide her with the same abundant grace He has given me, time and time again. God is good. Don’t forget that amid this turbulent ride we call 2020.
May the Lord bless you and shine His favor down upon you and those you love.
Praying for God’s many abudant blessings,