They say that good things take time, but I've learned that really great things happen in a blink of an eye. My Epic Waves class is often filled with discussion on topics that touch the hearts of our young people. One such Sunday we were discussing Luke 16:19-21 which deals with the rich man and Lazarus. If you haven't heard Fr. Jerry's reflection on it, I would highly recommend it: View Here. To summarize, the rich man ends up ignoring Lazarus who is suffering and falls out of favor with God. Our class posed the question, "How often do we ignore those in need?".
This is a real challenge for many of us in our daily lives. I frequently pass by beggars on the street, I've been too busy to pull over to assist someone with a flat tire and I've even reached the point that I turn off the news for days at a time to avoid hearing the struggles that many are facing. My avoidance of the news led me to miss a story that had rocked the lives of the kids in my own class. Our discussion turned to a child who was abducted a week earlier and how suddenly their own worlds didn't seem safe anymore. Even though the police had found the missing child the next day, it was still a big topic of conversation at school lunchroom tables almost a week later. I knew from our class discussion that this was a transformative opportunity for our youth to be a light for a family in need.
Helen Du Puy is my co-teacher in the Epic Waves class and she was familiar with the family's situation. She reached out to them to see if we could help in any way and their response was, "Please pray for our family." The interesting thing about prayer is that it is often two-fold. Neither the faith of the church nor its practice is complete without Christian action, therefore our prayers require action. With that in mind, Helen and I devised a plan to create prayer cards that our church family could fill out. These would be placed within a gift bag and sent to the family as a love offering. Thanks to the support of our congregation, over 90 prayer cards were filled out in one Sunday. Many of them were decorated by our children and adults with colorful stickers and drawings.
We made plans to deliver our love offering to the family along with dinner and a few small gifts such as silver crosses for the children. The gathering at their home was nothing short of amazing. As soon as we pulled into the parking lot we were warmly greeted by the family. Our youth carried in the prayer cards as well as the dinner the hospitality team prepared, Kimberly read an evening prayer and Adelaide led us all in the song, "This Little Light of Mine". After such a tragic event, it was incredible to see the family surrounded by the love and light of their fellow Christians. I knew their spirits were lifted by our presence.
With faith as small as a mustard seed, we are called to move mountains. I believe that our small church community helped to move a mountain of darkness and it all happened within a blink of an eye.
In Christ's love,