I am so grateful for the opportunity to visit with Brian each week and to bring you all with me through your prayers, love, and shared sacrament. I read the Sending Forth Prayer today to Brian, where you send me forth with communion to visit with Brian--
"With our hearts and prayers, and from the Holy Communion we just shared with one another and with Christ, we send you forth bearing these holy gifts to Brian, our Church Musician, and others who are in need., that they may feel our love and presence, be supported by our shared sacrament, and be uplifted and strengthened by the love of Christ, for we who are many are one body, because we all share one bread and one cup."
I could tell the prayer brought him a sense of connection with us and an awareness of our abiding love, set within Christ's love. Thank you for that offering to him and to me.
When Kevin, Marie, and I entered the wing of Brian's room, you can imagine our complete surprise when Brian was walking down the hall toward us -- walking on his own with no assistance! Wrapped around his shoulders was the prayer shawl which we all laid hands on and sent with our prayers to him. It was truly glorious to see his improvement this past week!
He also immediately spoke of how happy he was that Lisa and I had come the previous week and then shared his continued delight in the paintings we all made him and how he had been showing them off to all the nurses. This was wonderful -- and important, for this is a great example of how his short-term memory is improving. He spoke a lot about what he missed about being with us, the light pouring through the altar window, the joy, the love, the bulletin that has everything in it so everyone can follow along, and seeing each one of you (and of course, those of you who always commented on his wild and crazy socks!) I reassured him that he'll be back, for as you know, I refuse to put any boxes around this miracle.
I do invite your continued prayers for Brian, as I believe he is in that hard place of being aware enough of his limitations to feel frustrated by them and a bit anxious about how his recovery will unfold. Our faithful response to him is always to meet him where he is and to continue to pray into his recovery. I'm still pondering the quote I mentioned in my sermon about God and our expectations --
According to the Daily Dig, a blog post from Plough Magazine, “the church is called to move God – yes, God himself, to act. This does not mean that God cannot or will not act unless we ask God, but rather that God waits for people to believe in God and expect God’s intervention. For God acts among us only to the extent we ask for God’s action and accept it with our hearts and lives.
All I know is that my heart continues to hope and pray for Brian's full recovery and I invite you to do so with me. L
et us faithfully continue in love and prayer, in the name of Christ.