This week our worship will be rooted in Acts 9.36-43.  “Peter knelt down and prayed – Tabitha opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, she sat up. (9.40)  I have known many folks who have died.  Some of them my close friends.  One of them my father.  I prayed next to the lifeless body of my father.  He didn’t come back to life.  I believe my prayers went unanswered.  With his death part of me died too.  The part of me that felt assured every morning when I woke up.  When I think about this, I wonder why Peter’s prayers were answered.  Was he a better witness for God than I am?  Was he more faithful than me?  Was he closer to the heart of God?  Standing in the midst of the mystery of God is never easy.  It is mostly heart wrenching for it requires me to wonder and to ask “why?”  “how?”  “what about this?”.  Those questions often result in periods of silence in which my tears flow and the only thing I hear is the beating of my own heart.  When I am able to hear my heart beat I remember that I am still alive.  He is gone.  I am here.  He can no longer reach in love.  I can.  I should.  I will.  And then I take a deep breath and dry my tears and move forward.  As long as I am able, I will wonder why things unfold in a particular way.  I now understand that the answers I seek will come to me in God’s time and not my own.  My life companion called grief has created a new rhythm.  Where before my “one” was my father, the only “one” now is God.   I call this new rhythm assurance.   `~Linda


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