Sunday, January 19, 2014
A few days ago, I posted about studying Psalm 23. I ended by saying that we Christians make it through tough times by clinging to each other, to God, and to Psalm 23. I had no idea how soon that would be true for our congregation.
A respected elder in our church lost her daughter unexpectedly this week. We got a phone call in the evening, and my husband went to be with the family at their home. (He wrote eloquently about his thoughts in his blog.) Since then, we have been praying for the family, and my husband has been involved in planning the funeral.
Our congregation is reeling, as you might imagine. But in the midst of much pain, God is so very present. This morning, during our Sunday service, only two people came forward for healing prayer. This is unusual; there are frequently 6-12 persons.
One of them was the member who lost her daughter, and when the time came for the congregation to come forward and lay on hands as we prayed together, many of the congregation came to surround this mourning daughter of Christ with love and support. The front of the church was filled with people clinging to one another, tears in our eyes as we prayed for God's comfort and peace to encircle our sister.
I looked out over the sisters and brothers crowded to the front of the church, hands stretched out to bring love and healing, and I knew, once again, that God was deeply at work among these people. There is much pain and grief on the reservation; many people have lost loved ones too soon.
And I thank God, once again, for calling us to this place...these people. My faith is deepening and growing here among the Jicarilla Apache people. I pray that God will use my life to deepen and grow others' faith as well.
Your prayers for the work of the church in Dulce are much appreciated.