southernbangel posted about Fred Phelps and it being Holy Week and the struggle to live into that commandment to love everyone. The post is worth reading in full, but I want to repost this particular section:
However much I disagree with Phelps, however much I abhor his personal beliefs, I'm so glad that God's grace is so much greater than mine. I believe in a God who is just yet forgiving, compassionate and generous, and, above all, loving. Even to men like Fred Phelps.*
Tiffany (the pastor at Cambridge Welcoming) is blogging Holy Week -- each day an oremus link to the lectionary text, an excerpt from someone else's writing, and a prayer. Today's post is worth reposting in full:
Isaiah 50: 4-9[In the lectionary I was particularly struck by the opening sentence: "The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word." Though of course I have learned, and come to some peace with the fact, that often there are no words and what is required is presence. "What I Learned from My Mother" by Julia Kasdorf]
The following is an excerpt from Practicing Resurrection by Nora Gallagher. Here she describes faith in the midst of her brother's death.
"People say their faith is tested during such times, but I am not sure I had much faith to test. I knew what I did not believe: that God was holding Kit in the palm of [God's] hand (and the whole world, etc.), or that Kit was going on to eternal life or that Kit's suffering and mine were for some greater good. Those statements seemed like so many platitudes to me or at least non of them helped me, none of them gave me a shred of solace. None of them carried any weight. This was beyond anything I I had had to endure, beyond anything I could or will imagine...One thing I knew: other people were praying for Kit and me...I could not pray myself, or at least I could not formulate words or wishes. If I sat still long enough to pray, I found the room filled with a long scream. I finally began to see I was living on other people's prayers, as if they were bread and water. Prayers were what I came to believe in; they were the glue that bound me to the living and made it possible for me to remain upright and walk."
Prayer of the Day
Merciful Holy One, in days of sorrow and affliction bear us up through the love of others. Shelter us in a community of grace and compassion. Grant us comfort, solace and rest in the arms of our friends that we might know your deep and abiding presence with us reflected in the eyes and words and embraces of each other. Amen.