Trust Restored

By Deb Crowley of Eaton Rapids, Michigan, USA

The effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.  Isaiah 32:17–18

A quiet, unassuming, shy minister was to give the sermon on a Sunday following a week of conflict in the congregation. Nerves were raw, everyone was on edge, trust was broken.

All this was the result of a series of e-mails that hurt individuals. Before long, sides were drawn, and an almost-visible line appeared down the aisle of the church. How could this unpretentious, quiet minister speak to the congregation in a way that might bring healing and reconciliation?

What followed was profound. He said that as he prayed in preparation for Sunday, he sensed the Holy Spirit urging him how to share. He set a telephone and toy car on the podium.

He stated that everyone with a computer ought to have a computer-smashing party! Then they should pick up the phone or get in their car, drive to one another’s home, and talk—in person, by phone, face to face, or one on one.

Above all, he counseled that God wept for their pain.

They must not let their differences separate them, and they must remember that with love in action, wounds would heal, and the people would be helped toward wholeness.

There are times God surprises us by using the most-unexpected, untrained, shyest characters to remind us of what matters most. Jesus chose fishermen, tax collectors, those with no college degrees, no standing in political circles or the religious realm. Simple, hard-working men who said, “yes” and followed Jesus.

So watch out! Once the Holy Spirit empowers us, an awesome journey begins!

Prayer for Peace:

Creator God, make us humble servants who listen to your word. Send us companions who heal us on our journey, who face us one on one and teach us the ways of peace and reconciliation.

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Honoring the Worth of All Persons

Read Psalm 139:13–18. After each reading sit quietly and let the deep meaning of the words sink into your mind, heart, and body. Sense the intimate knowledge God has of you and every child. Be aware of the sacred worth of each person. Weep with God over the soul-wounding forces and events that rob people of dignity and worth. How are you invited to protect, heal, and affirm the spiritual identity of others? Pray for God’s compassion.

Peace Covenant:

Today, God, I will use my voice, my eyes, my smile, and my touch to heal brokenness.

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