I go to sleep grateful and I wake up grateful.
Even with all the restrictions in this COVID world, my list of blessings is long.
My wood stove warm home and warm marriage.
Two cuddly-soft grandchildren in my daily life.
Long nature walks out my front door.
This good computer and internet connections and our Canadian daughter working her job remotely from our guest room.
Plus all the spiritual gifts I have through Jesus…so much!
If gratitude were a tent, most days I live inside it.
But there are stains on that tent, blots of black that disturb my peace.
Because I fret about others.
–Reading a book “Hearts of Fire” about the stories of eight women in the underground church, the incredible suffering they endure for their faith in Jesus. The evil men do to other human beings is_______… is_______ … oh, I can’t think of a word strong enough to describe it.
–Hearing about the mother in Bolivia who has lost three children to COVID, knowing her loss is multiplied in thousands, millions of families. Death and death and death and more death.
–Working the JesusCares.com chatline (I volunteer as a spiritual coach a few hours a week.), chatting/texting with young people and the repeated topics of ‘depression’ ‘trauma’ ‘suicide’ ‘why has God left me?’ ‘fear of death’ ‘despair’ ‘anxiety’ and ‘hopelessness.’
–Talking with a friend who lives with pain and distress caused by cancer.
–Whatsapping stories and prayers with Lebanese friends who are suffering the devastating aftereffects of the bomb blast, on top of the pandemic and poverty.
These are difficult days for so many, and I, with all these undeserved blessings, feel something like survivor’s guilt.
I am tempted to be ashamed that my life is good.
You know about the Lord’s Supper. At His last Passover meal, Jesus asked his followers to use the bread and wine to remember His sacrificial death for us and the forgiveness of sins and new life He gives.
Churches all over the world have the regular practice of taking Communion together, sharing the Lord’s Supper.
This week I been thinking about The Lord’s Breakfast.*
It is a well-known story about Jesus serving bread and coal-broiled fish to his friends early one morning on the shore of Lake Galilee.
That breakfast was a time of happy recognition—“It’s the Lord!”—and a time of restoration and re-commitment for Peter. “Peter, do you love me?” “Feed my sheep.”
It is important to celebrate the Lord’s Supper regularly and now I want to do something to commemorate the Lord’s Breakfast. To recognize his Lordship and to recommit to loving and following Him.
And one more thing. At that breakfast Jesus told Peter he would suffer and die. Peter looked at John and asked, “But what about him? What’s going to happen to him?”
Jesus answered his question with a question. (He does that so often.) “If I want him to remain alive (i.e. to not suffer what you will suffer), what is that to you? You follow me.”
I want to stop fretting about others, to stop comparing and feeling ashamed of my gifts and blessings.
I want to stay in my grateful tent, letting Jesus be the Lord over all, trusting that He will gift others and work out His purposes for them as they follow Him.
This afternoon our Daughter #1 boards her plane for Canada.
I feel sad, but maybe we could have our last breakfast outside around a fire.
In the snow? Maybe not.
But we can take time at breakfast around our table with some candles.
We can meditate on John 21 together, celebrate Jesus’ presence with us, and recommit ourselves to His Lordship in our lives.
Okay, I gotta get off this computer and get ready for our first Lord’s Breakfast.
It’s gonna be good.
*Ideas sparked by Dr. Paul Brand in his book “The Forever Feast.”