Good Problems

By Cathy Loving of Independence, Missouri, USA

…give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”  Luke 6:38

The graceful, 20-inch-tall glass container sat on my desk. The jar had a large hole on the side and cracks radiating from a break.

How was I going to explain this minor tragedy to the person who put it under my care? One hour earlier, I could hardly wait to learn the total value of the coins it held. But now, the break held my vision, not the thousands of coins it contained.

Before and during the 2010 Peace Colloquy this glass container sat at the Temple foyer desk, serving as the deposit for the “Pennies for Peace” project. The coins collected would go toward building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The project was an overwhelming success. Old and young alike excitedly placed coins in the jar to the point we worried it would be too heavy to take to the bank.

But I couldn’t get past the broken jar. Then it hit me: This is not a problem. This is a good predicament to be in. It was the joy of all those people contributing coins that broke through the jar.

Their generosity overflowed in expressing love for children in faraway countries. Just think of the possibilities if we overflowed church parking lots each week, if we overflowed our worship each week, or if we overflowed the offering basket each week.

Suddenly that glass container, in all its brokenness, beamed with God’s love and the privilege of sharing that love with the people of the world.

Prayer for Peace:

Creator God, teach us not to worry. Teach us to have faith in you and our companions in the community. Help us raise our expectations of one another and give all we can in full measure, running over.

Spiritual Practice:

The psalms are prayers of honesty and trust. The psalmist trusts God’s presence in times of fear and failure, joy and plenty, growth and change. Write a short psalm-prayer expressing to God the truth about your physical, emotional, and spiritual state. What are your deepest feelings, longings, and needs? What prayer of praise, intercession, or petition flows from you as you consider your life and the life of God’s world?

Peace Covenant:

Today, God, I will examine so-called problems and see how they can be transformed and used for peace.

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1 Comment

  1. What a beautiful situation to be in! Love your blog by the way:)

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