From Rev Sue Ann Yarbrough
I have talked with or emailed the many care community activity directors I meet monthly in the last week. Thank you all for your responses. My intention is to post a short weekly email that includes some scripture, a meditation, and prayer that activity directors can share with residents and other staff members. Please know you all are in our prayers, and do let us know if we can be of help in any way. I miss being with all of your communities!
Scripture: James 1:16-18, Common English Bible
"Don't be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good gift, every perfect gift, comes from above. These gifts come down from the Father, the creator of the heavenly lights, in whose character there is no change at all. He has chosen to give us birth by his true word, and here is the result: we are like the first crop from the harvest of everything he created. Know this, my dear brothers and sisters: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to grow angry."
When Tyler and I first moved into our house over two decades ago, the house across the street was home to a grandmother, two adult daughters, and one young granddaughter. The grandmother and I would often sit together for an hour or in the afternoon at her kitchen table. One early January she shared that she had walked into her granddaughter's room the night before and found her weeping. When Tina asked the child what was wrong, she replied, "The lights are gone."
This puzzled Tina because they had taken their Christmas tree over a week ago. However, when Tina looked out the child's bedroom window, she realized that the child could see our living room window and our Christmas tree, which indeed had grown dark. It was after Epiphany, and earlier that day, we had begun to pack the lights and decorations away. The child said that she liked to sit at the window at night and simply look at the lights. My heart was touched. I could so easily see myself doing the same thing.
However, James reminds us that God's light is unchanging. While events in our lives come and go, God is eternal. Therefore James' advice to be slow to anger is sound. For in the midst of all that is changing, and sometimes frustrating, there is always God who is continually giving us light and love. These gifts are eternal and sacred. Let us also remember that sometimes we do not know who is needing our own light to keep shining. Let us be quick to share our light and love, and leave the rest to God.
Holy, Eternally Loving God, we thank you for surrounding us with your love and guidance and we pray for health and refuge for all in this time of illness. Help us to share the gifts of love that you have so generously given us. Help us to tend to one another with patience, compassion, and generosity. We know that it is because of your abundant, far reaching light that we have life, and we are grateful. May we be ever mindful of your love as we remember, "Within you is the spring of life. In your light, we see light." Psalm 36:9
In Jesus' name we gratefully pray, Amen
Blessings, Rev Sue Ann