Surrounded by Love
Listen to this daily worship
Isaiah 30: 20-21 (NRSVA)
20 Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. 21 And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’
We often speak of ‘the patience of saints’ but we ought perhaps, more realistically, to celebrate the patience of teachers.
Being able and willing, day in and day out, to guide and nourish young minds, to teach them how to ‘walk’, so to speak, is an extraordinary gift and calling. It requires daily renewal and re-commitment. It requires patience. In today’s reading we have this image of the Teacher, a function we often associate with the Holy Spirit, surrounding us and helping us to keep walking when the way is tough.
To do so well requires the cooperation and trust of the person being guided or surrounded. I was reminded of this the other day when I was playing with one of my granddaughters. We were experimenting with a new way of walking. This involved me standing behind her, bent over, with my arms wrapped around her and my feet on either side of hers. Essentially I surrounded her. We then began to move. I kept expressing astonishment at my four legs moving together, to her great delight.
When you trust someone, it can feel wonderful to be surrounded on all sides, to have someone there to speak words of direction and comfort. For the person doing the surrounding however, it can be back breaking! Thankfully the Spirit seems to do so effortlessly, repeating with endless endless patience, “walk this way”.
Help me to know you are beside, behind and before me
May I be surrounded by you today
As you teach me to walk your way.
LENT FOCUS 5: PATIENCE
This week we focus on ‘patience’. Try taking some time each day to quietly spend five minutes in silence, not doing anything, just stilling yourself before God and resting. You don’t need to feel any pressure to think about anything in particular. Don’t worry if you get distracted. Gently calm your mind and, if it wanders, bring it back to the idea of quiet and silence.