Nora stood at the front of our church last month, her husband smiling beside her. It was a communion Sunday, and she was giving the introduction. Only her extremely short hair gave any hint to her battle with cancer. And she began to talk, and she continued to smile, and she explained that this would be her last corporate communion…
because they were done fighting,
and her minutes remaining were few.
You could see the shock wave roll through the church as bodies immediately straightened and eyes began to water. But Nora continued to smile. She talked about regrets… that she had none. She talked about family… that she loved and was loved immensely. She talked about confession… that it was essential. And then they passed the wine and the bread, and we gave thanks for a sacrifice made on our behalf that we might know a better life than the one we were living. That we might love more than we thought possible. That we might forgive the unforgivable, beginning with ourselves.
What unexpected beauty in the face of unimaginable tension.
I imagine Christ felt the same way
sitting at that table so many nights ago
as He broke bread with his closest friends.
Martin Luther King, Jr., became the voice of hope and determination at a time when people were desperate for change and leadership. The night before he was assassinated, he spoke these words:
”Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life — longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. So I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything, I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”
full text HERE
NPR story HERE
What unexpected beauty in such an ugly, ugly time.
Patty singing the song inspired by MLK’s last speech
Sometimes I feel like
I’ve never been nothing but tired
And I’ll be working
Till the day I expire
Sometimes I lay down
No more can I do
But then I go on again
Because you asked me to
I am so tired.
My Rylie and her battle
and my position in that battle
and her weapons for that battle
and especially her heart in that battle…
the mountain is so very high.
It’s messy, spilling into every part of our lives.
And it is exhausting.
But I think…
I think I’ll keep walking.
A bit slower here;
a bit faster there.
Bravely singing on Wednesday
to drown out Tuesday’s cries.
What more can I do?
I am nothing if not inspired by those-
so much greater than I-
who have walked the road before me.
May you continue on,
whatever mountain you are climbing, Friend.