EMAIL DEVOTION week of LENT 2
‘Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:9-10)
The end of the month often finds me finishing my home communion visits. They are one of the blessings I enjoy in parish ministry because they bring me a dual gift: (1) The gift of sharing communion with some of our wisest and most gracious members; and (2) The opportunity to see a simpler life that recognizes God’s presence in ways that I miss. Folks who live in the moment – especially persons in some stage of dementia – understand the grace of what is happening “here and now.” I am too often focused on “what’s next.
A couple of days ago my schedule allowed me to devote most of the afternoon to communion visits, and I was able to get four of them in. As I finished up the fourth visit, I was struck by something I don’t often think about. Namely, how each person I sat with prayed the Lord’s Prayer in a slightly different way. One person with some stroke issues had to pause so as to get a couple of the words right, and I found myself the more acutely aware of those words. One person who experiences dementia could get out a word or two, here and there and only through great determination. That effort struck me as a heroic commitment to the power of prayer. Another person was crying by the time we got to “thy Kingdom come” and I found my eyes getting misty with the contagious spirit of awe … and maybe anticipation of a world that was closer for her than for me … maybe. The fourth person seemed to intentionally emphasize a couple of words I can only assume to have been important ones for her … “hallowed” … “this day” … “and the glory.”
It provided me both with an appreciation for the gift of this seminal prayer that we sometimes take for granted and whip off our tongue without much thought … and with a brief glimpse into the unique faith lives of these few people with whom I had the joy of spending some time. And for a moment I wondered what it must be like to our Father in Heaven, and to hear the marvelous diversity, and at times probably the compelling cacophony of the collective children of God.
Thank you Jesus, for the gift of those for whom the simplicity of life can be revelatory, if we can only find the eyes to see. Amen.