Silver Linings

By Gena McDonald of Fayetteville, Tennessee, USA

For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.  Isaiah 55:12

One day in 2011, we planned a small get-together with friends we had not seen or talked with in more than 10 years. They live in the Huntsville, Alabama, area. We were to meet for a few hours just to catch up.

That was the week tornadoes blasted Alabama. We were not able to get in touch with our friends until Saturday morning. They had been without electricity almost 72 hours.

The family has an autistic, 15-year-old son named Sam. Shortly after the family arrived at our home, beautiful Christian music was coming from our piano. I went into the family room, where Sam was playing with depth and grace.

He was so into it that chills went through me. I invited them to go to our small congregation.

The next morning our family went to church. Our friends were not there. During Sunday school our pastor mentioned we did not have anyone to play that day. During the final words of a heartfelt testimony, beautiful music came from the sanctuary. We assumed someone was playing a CD.

When we walked into the sanctuary, there was Sam, sitting at the piano, playing his heart out. Our pastor asked Sam’s father if Sam would like to lead our congregation in music that morning. The congregation was overwhelmed. All the way home, I kept praising God for turning chaos into two wonderful experiences.

Do we believe God allowed the severe weather to take place just to bring us this experience? No. However, I believe in my heart it provided God an opportunity to demonstrate love for us.

Yes, bad things happen. But if we look for silver linings in God’s world, then we can move forward and make the best of any situation.

Prayer for Peace:

Creator God, create in us hearts of music and joy. When we are in darkness, let us look for your light. When we are in in chaos, bring us your peace.

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Embodying God’s Shalom

Each day this week find a way to express and embody God’s shalom. Begin by prayerfully listening to your longing for peace. Become silent and imagine you can hear the groaning of the Earth’s peoples, nations, and creatures. Prayerfully open yourself to God’s yearning for peace and the divine vision of shalom.

What images, feelings, and words come to you? What prayer for peace comes to you from your time of listening? Speak or write this prayer. What small act of justice, kindness, healing, or peacemaking is God inviting you to consider this day, this week?

Peace Covenant:

Today, God, I will burst into song, even amid chaos.

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