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 March 18, 2010

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afgriffin

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PostSubject: March 18, 2010   Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:01 pm

Precious

Excerpt from Isaiah 43: 1 - 7

"But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you . . . "

Reflection by Anthony B. Robinson

I was deep in a hard time. Sad and angry, overwhelmed and feeling sorry for myself. I could see no way out or even forward. I felt like a Halloween pumpkin on Election Day; excitement all over, just empty inside.

By some odd grace I found my way to a place called "The Spiritual Life Center" run by an older Maryknoll nun. Sister Katherine explained the drill. My job was to pray the Scriptures. She would give me two a day, one in the morning, one in the afternoon, vitamins for my soul. "And," she said, with a gentle smile, "If you fall asleep, it's okay; you're probably exhausted."

My Scriptural vitamin for that first morning was this very passage, Isaiah 43: 1 - 7. As I headed off, Sr. Katherine called, "Oh, and you might try putting your name in where it says 'Jacob' and 'Israel.'" I did that. I did it once, then again, three times and more, praying the words over and over. As I did, voices of accusation and anger gave way to a balm in Gilead. Love was poured out upon me like precious oil. "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you . . . When you walk through fire you shall not be burned . . . For I am the Lord your God . . . You are precious in my sight."

For the first time in a long time, I felt as if I could breathe again. No clear way forward had been revealed, no ready answer had been given, none but this: "You are precious in my sight, honored, and I love you," and that was enough. Enough to open the road out of exile toward home.

Prayer

Sometimes, Lord, we can get so busy trying to do for others that we forget to let you do for us or be God for us. We forget that we too are precious. Tell us again. Remind us. And then grant us grace to live as people precious in your sight. Amen
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