How Shall They Hear?

Tuesday, September 30

"G" is for God

“G” is for God

By Susie Shelton of Independence, Missouri, USA

The one who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and has human approval.

—Romans 14:18 NRSV

I worked for years as a court reporter, but it seemed no matter how hard I worked, my work never satisfied me. Then I discovered real-time captioning—listening to people speak and transcribing the words instantly to the screen. I continued practicing and going to seminars. However, I still felt something was missing. My chosen career left me unfulfilled.

One day I used my real-time captioning skills to help a hearing-impaired man in court. Providing help gave me a deep satisfaction. As a child I learned: All that we are and hope to be, we can dedicate to God and use to serve others.

Years later, I prayed for guidance for my role in Christ’s mission. Then, the Architect of my life turned the light on. I recalled how I felt helping the man in court. I wanted that feeling back. I took a course in sign language to understand better those who were deaf or hard of hearing. I was afraid I wouldn’t measure up. I gave up my concerns to God. It was like jumping into the unknown, trusting God to catch me.

At a university I used my skills to help students. I was their ears. I wanted to expand this service into a ministry. I started contacting churches. Many did not need what I had to offer. I continued honing my skills and praying for opportunities to serve.

One Sunday I stopped at three churches before I came to the Stone Church Congregation in Independence, Missouri. I shared my idea of captioning for hearing-impaired people. The pastor expressed interest. I first wrote the services for me to build my biblical dictionary.

The first Sunday I provided captioning, a woman who was sitting behind me was watching my screen. When the service was over, she thanked me and gave me a hug as tears streamed down her cheeks. Many hearing-impaired people attend this congregation, and I feel joy in making the ministry accessible to them. I hope captioning ministry will expand to other congregations.

Prayer for Peace Architect of life, help us structure our lives to serve those in need.

Spiritual Practice: Develop Disciples to Serve As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to respond to people and their needs. Pray about using your skills to help another person. As you feel affirmed, thank God for the opportunity to be a responding, serving disciple while you move into the outward journey.

Peace Covenant Today, God, I will give up my hesitation to serve, and trust you to guide me.


Evidence of God’s Care

Friday, May 31

5.31By Colleen LeRoy of Layton, Utah, USA

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.

—John 14:27

 One morning while I was walking to catch my bus, the Creator caught my breath as I stopped to watch a hawk fly from one tree to another. She had food for her little ones. As I watched her preside over her nest, I became aware of God’s constant presence and care for us. God sees our needs and provides food for our nourishment. God knows our concerns—we need not fear. We need only be vulnerable to God’s grace. We are blessed with divine generosity and love.

God’s arms gather me in—
reaching far as hawk can fly
tenderly hold me safe
as we sweep across the sky
from dawn to fading light
companions through the night

 God’s love sends me out—
to gather and embrace
to soar with every hawk in flight,
a fledgling falters, needing grace
draw me safe within the nest,
then send me out to feed the rest.

                                     —Lu Mountenay

Prayer for Peace
We open ourselves to you, our ever-present Companion. We open ourselves and pause in the middle of our busy day. We are mindful from where the wind beneath our wings comes, and to where that wind blows us. We are mindful of where you send us and with whom we will share. We pray this journey leads us in pursuit of Christ’s peace.

Spiritual Practice: All Living Things
Take a walk and find a tree where you can sit (or imagine walking and sitting beneath a tree). Lean against the tree and feel the texture of the bark. Listen to the wind move through the leaves. Sit quietly and sense God’s presence flowing through the tree and all creation. Offer a prayer of gratitude for your connection to all living things. Ask for grace to discern and carry out one small act of justice or healing that creates greater wholeness for the plants, animals, trees, waters, air, and land that are part of the community of creation.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will look for those near the risky edge of the nest and bring them to the center of the community.