This morning after a magnificent night of rest, I began my morning routine of checking emails over my first coffee, then adjusting my calendar accordingly. This is always my routine, before settling into my daily reads. Not sure that sounds like my priorities are in order, but that's just how I roll.
My read through scripture had just begun entry into the book of Isaiah. There the prophet highlights the challenges facing a divided nation, with threats being offered between Judah and Isreal, the latter reinforced by Syria.
Some things never seem to change in the Middle East! My heart goes out to "the least of these" among both adults and children, who now presently and for centuries have suffered the conflict between political leaders, many brutal, impassioned by fanaticism.
You may recall Isaiah 6:5-8, verses that cry out for spiritual leadership. Even Isaiah seems caught off guard given his humble recoil, an awareness of his own failures. Frankly, it always serves as reminder of my own "unclean lips". Yet, his inquiry is immediately met with remedy, purged by the "hot coals" of grace. He then replies, "Here I am, send me!"
We are forever without excuse when others suffer, given the good graces of the Lord! All of us were designed with a destiny, one covered by grace if allowed, and thus able to be the difference this world needs!
In the middle of all that, I was notified that a dear friend had passed unexpectedly. Then as well, a family member continues his struggle with long term mental illness.
Life can get real in a hurry.
Yet, life has never out run the grace and the provision of the Lord, if one only stops long enough to inquire. Whether it be hard resources, dear friends in places where open doors are needed, or even adequate personal compassion. Often in my case, the moment is seasoned with wisdom from serendipitous parallel reads!
Again, books find me!
The latter being the most recent book by Alan Wright entitled, "Seeing As Jesus Sees." I have known this dear pastor since a meeting in 1993 when I was on staff at a former church. He later agreed to serve on a board set up for a multi-church initiative in our city, a leadership experience that has always been a cherished highlight in my life. His heart for others and skill as an author are so well expressed in this phenomenal read. Timely this morning, as I seek to see and act like Jesus!
My heart aches in this moment. However, it is in just such moments that we are most in touch with the beauty of being human. The joy of experiencing that sudden and overwhelming warmth that floods your inner-most soul, with tears suddenly welling up, disabling any words beyond, "I love you!"
Helplessness is such a blessing given the power of self-will in a mind always full of strategies, and a gut often too quick to act!
Thank God for a heart that desires mercy and knows our reliance upon a Higher Power, One ever present.
The I Am, in us, "the hope of glory!"