I remember President Johnson's words, "I come to you today with a heavy heart." Of course, even though I was just a child, I had some notion of what that meant, after all, our President had been shot and killed in Dallas; we learned about it during afternoon milk break at Florence Elementary; and I went home to watch 24 hour a day coverage on the television throughout the next week as our nation grieved and our innocence was taken from us.
Hearts can be heavy. Hearts feel what our outer countenance hides. Hearts process the sighs and tears and pain of our daily lives. Hearts know what is truly in our thoughts as we put on a brave face and tell everyone that we are doing fine. Hearts can be glad, yes, but we somehow feel the gravity of the heart's importance most when we face adversity.
This past week, I had good news and bad news come my way, just like everyone else. The police caught the bad guy, the news media asked me for my reaction, the memories and nightmares returned. My three jobs dwindled down to one and now that is questionable. My bills are due. My table is bare. My mind is muddled.
And my heart is heavy.
Somehow I know that God is with me, though, and He wants to know my heart. I have shared my fear with Him, and although the intimidation of poverty is overwhelming, I do have faith that God is with me, despite my circumstances. So where do I go from here? I will keep trying to find work, I will keep seeking out the resources that provide food for the indigent, I will journey on...but most importantly, I will continue to be kind to those who are in need, because there are many, many people in need.
We sang and worshiped today, sang a lovely hymn, Take My Life, And Let It Be -- the message was that we have to give our will to God and make our will, His will. Now, I don't pretend to know the will of God, but I do know it pleases Him when I obey His word, when I turn away from gossip and ugly thoughts, when I trace the rainbow through the rain. It's not easy...this thing called Life, but I do know there are folks who suffer much more than I do. I am somewhat healthy, I can walk and talk and type and gripe. I'm one of the lucky ones.
Here's a prayer we prayed today, I hope you find meaning in it:
Eternally present God,
you journey with us through wilderness and through desert.
No matter the circumstance
the signs of your presence are always with us;
sometimes in fire and cloud;
sometimes in bread from heaven and water from a rock.
As we your people gather in praise and prayer,
reveal yourself to us in cross and candle, Bible and pulpit.
Above all, make yourself known to us through Christ
in the breaking of bread.
We wait for you in glad reverence and expectant awe.