Living Lent – Day 12

Jeremiah 14: 17-22

Let my eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease.

My biggest lament was probably when my Dad died suddenly at a very early age. I was angry with God and cried out to God that I could not understand why He allowed this to happen to my dad, especially as a church prayer group had been praying for him.

The only prayer I could offer at the time was that in the fullness of time God would allow this experience to make some sense and to be of use to me and others. As I worked over time as a social worker I worked in a variety of teams. One of these was the team for people with physical disabilities including those who had suffered strokes. I saw first hand the frustrations and adjustments that people faced afterwards. It was then that I first realized that my Dad had been spared this type of suffering and that in fact his death had been the healing I had prayed for all those years ago.

That’s not to say that I don’t still miss him, I do – particularly at key family moments and when you have those things you need your Dad around for, such as family DIY projects or when I buy a new tool.

But I am strengthened by the knowledge that God answered my prayer and that my memory is of a Dad who was whole and healthy. A Dad who, ironically as we think of our property team today, was also a skilled blacksmith and property steward who used his skills in the service of others. I draw some comfort from the fact that there is still a Scout and Cub flag holder that he made in the church my mum still attends. Many things in life and church we take for granted. It is not until they are threatened or taken away that we sometimes realize what good things God gives us.

So today if you have suffered a loss, as you lament their loss also ask what are the good reminders of that person to comfort you?

As you look at our wonderful building think about those who have contributed to it over all the years it has been in this community. What stories does the fabric of our building contain?

The building we have today is due to the skills and dedication of those who have gone before us. Because of this it has been a place for lamentation, celebration and comfort for those who need it.

Ponder… What situations have led you to offer laments to God? Did the laments relate to more personal matters or to national or international ones? If not immediately, at what stage have you been able to say that you set your hope on God?

Pray… FOR OUR COMMUNITY Pray for our property team – a group of committed and skilled people who give generously of their time to undertake no end of tasks to maintain our property, from decorating the toilets to decorating the Christmas tree! FOR THE WORLD Pray for all of those who quietly get on with the countless thankless tasks that keep our society running smoothly. There are many in unglamorous and poorly paid jobs, whose work we would not notice unless it wasn’t done. They deserve our gratitude!

Act… Give a small present to someone you know.