Shepherds All

The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Psalm 23:1

An unexpected conversation with an unexpected friend left my heart heavy with compassion for this suffering person. A loved one is critically ill and the only consolation I could offer was my promise to pray for him. As I walked away, I began my prayer. “Dear God, give them strength,” I begged. Though my own sons, their wives and our grandchildren are happy and well these days, I’ve experienced enough health scares in their regard for me to understand this person’s pain too well. So it was that I reached for the image of our loving God which consoles me most when I am in asking mode: The Good Shepherd.

I prayed on… “Where would I be today, Lord, if I had not been in your care through the trauma of my own life? Sometimes, you came out of nowhere to assure me of your presence. You came in the kindness of your servant-shepherds who kept hope alive for me. Please, do the same for my friend and that family today.”

Truly, no one would be where he or she is today if not for God’s relentless love and care. Sometimes, this comes in our own awareness of God’s presence. Sometimes, that care comes in the efforts of the shepherds God has asked to care for us. Each instance of nurturing feeds our hope and empowers us to carry on. What an awesome responsibility and privilege it is for us to do the same for one another!

Good Shepherd, be with us as we share your nurturing ways through our loving care for one another .

©2019 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

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U… Unity with Everyone

And if a house is divided against itself,
that house will not be able to stand.

Mark 3:25

U is for Unity. Although the Chicago Cubs won the World Series more than three months ago, their January visit to the White House brought me back to the last inning of Game Seven. I was glued to our television set throughout. When the Cubs finally won, I tuned in for days afterward to enjoy the extended coverage of their appearances and celebrations. I also attended carefully to the nightly news and sports segments as they featured numerous snippets of Cubs Fans and their stories of lifelong loyalty and hope. It was very difficult for me to let go of all of this because of the single-heartedness of Cubs Fans of every age, size, color, socioeconomic, ethnic and religious background. I think all concerned would agree that Cub’s Fans became one family as they endured this World Series run and they will remain so for a very, very long time.

Unity is extremely important to families, especially to God’s family. There is nothing more wonderful for parents than to see their children get along. When our children appreciate one another for who they are in spite of their numerous differences, we experience heaven on earth. No one understands and appreciates our uniqueness more than God and no one has greater expectations regarding our ability to get along than God. It seems to me that our only response can be to work with one another as best we can. In the process, perhaps we’ll finally become one family, too.

Loving God, help us to love one another like the brothers and sisters we are.

©2017 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved