May 20 Post
“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from God comes my salvation. God alone is my rock and my salvation. My fortress; I shall never be moved.” - Psalm 62:1-2
It’s been a dozen years since our daughter-in-law-Amanda went into labor with our first granddaughter. The day started early and had grown long by noon. Amanda had been in labor all night, and five of us took turns keeping her company, giving her comfort, wiping her brow. I was sitting on the floor in the corner praying and trying to stay out of the way while a team of nurses worked with her. Exchanging knowing glances, they finally hustled her off for an ultrasound, returning with the news that her excruciating pain was caused by the fact that this yet to be born child had wedged herself sideways with her head pressing down on a central nerve in the hip socket. Amanda, herself a nurse, knew then that this child could not slip sweetly into this world and the waiting hands of the midwife.
We had to wait for what seemed like forever, but finally the on-call surgeon showed up, wearing motorcycle leathers, helmet in hand. “Just give me a minute to change,” he said, “And we’ll get this little girl out of there.” Looking this kid up and down, I wasn’t sure I would trust him to change the oil in my car, let alone deliver my granddaughter. Desperate times call for desperate measures. There was nothing to be done but to trust.
Every part of our being screams action when the world appears to be falling apart. When we’re in trouble, when our family is in turmoil, when our community fractures, when our nation struggles, there rises from the belly a clear and compelling desire to do something. With the urgency of a woman in labor, our hearts and minds and bodies stir with an unshakable call to act. We worry that if we fail to respond in a timely manner, the results could be disastrous.
We’re all feeling a little cooped up right now in the delivery room. We’re eager to get things moving, get this over with, and get back out there, to experience new life on the other side. That day will come soon when your action will be required, but not quite, yet. When the time comes, the needed action will be easy. Waiting is hard. Every necessary and life-saving action starts with a time of preparation and quiet, radical trust.
Prayer: God of heaven and earth, you are my rock and my salvation. You know the needs of the world before I ever think to pray for them. Stir my heart with compassion, open my mind with insight, equip my feet for action and my hands to serve, when that day comes. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen
God’s grace, mercy and peace be with you,
Rev. Dr. Anna V. Copeland
Interim Senior Minister
Community Church of Vero Beach