Sunday, January 20, 2008

Moments of Glory, Moments of Pain

Sundays are curious days; the program (logistics, technology, leaders) the people (full of stories they have been waiting to tell, visitors for the first time, good friends who are leaving when I am gone next week, grieving widows who last sang the song on her husband's funeral 3 years ago, and a couple I will be marrying in 3 weeks) the location nestled into the mountains and our picnic on the beach through the butterfly preserve where millions of monarchs hung in the eucalyptus trees like clusters of grapes. Watching these fragile creatures clinging to the branches radiating the late afternoon sun was a worship encore. God's glory displayed in the little things. 
Then came the painful words shared quietly with me, of loss, of an unreported violation a long time ago and now a life with a scarred-over wound, of a son grieving a lost relationship with a father who walked out long ago, of a father caring for an adult daughter's battle with deep depression, a solitary mother with a son in rehab. 
I preached from I Thessalonians 2: 1-12 and how Paul modeled transparency and gentle care. I wonder if that triggered the wave of sharing, or if it was God preparing me to hear the pain? These views and words I absolutely treasure as gifts, little jewels God allows me to witness and hear. "It is well with me soul."


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