Tag Archives: not alone

Not Alone on the Journey

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, December 22, 2015

winter road

Not Alone on the Journey

I participated in a Blue Christmas service last night. This service was especially for people who feel disconnected from the holiday, for any number of reasons. Yes, grieving, but also losses. Fear, anxiety, anger. Any one of a number of negative feelings.

There was a time of sharing in the service, and several people mentioned feeling lonely. Even desperately lonely, even though they were in the midst of a crowd of people.

Have you ever felt that way? (I know I have.) Even though you knew the people surrounding you, there was a disconnect. A separation. A desperate loneliness …

That’s what it’s like in this fallen world. Disconnected and separated from each other, fighting, bickering, misunderstanding, jealousy, anger, fear. (And that’s just considering one representative person and their extended family.) Imagine that experience multiplied countless times. Now you are starting to realize the magnitude of the sadness, of the difficulty the God of love had in reconciling the world.

Henri Nouwen mentioned the mystery of Christmas “that continues to give us comfort and consolation; we are not alone on our journey.” [1] That is one big reason why God became man, why God emptied Himself and became a tiny baby named Jesus.

How unimaginable—that the God who created heaven and earth, who holds the universe between the span of the fingers on one hand, could empty Godself of all God-ness. How amazing. How miraculous. Jesus came to journey with us through life, to walk and talk and sit by our sides. So we wouldn’t ever be lonely again.

It is almost Christmas. Almost here. Emmanuel, God with us. Come, Lord Jesus! Maranatha!


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Advent and Christmas: Wisdom from Henri J. M. Nouwen (Linguori, Missouri: Redemptorist Pastoral Publications, 2004), 48.

Looking at the Past—Prayerfully

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, May 9, 2015

plowing - with an Egyptian farmer

plowing – with an Egyptian farmer

Looking at the Past—Prayerfully

I’m taking another chance with this passage from 1 Kings 19: Elisha plowing with oxen, and Elijah telling the younger man that he has a special calling from God.

I am not going to think about this particular passage in a negative light (since I had difficulty focusing on this as a ‘failure.’ Instead, it’s a new night, and a new beginning. And, look at the source material! As I examine what Margaret Silf suggests [1], I can compare myself to someone plowing. In a field, which is the world.

Aren’t we all plowing—doing our own thing in the world? Walking the wide field, the bright blue sky above, rich earth beneath my feet, and the oxen making noises, grunts. That’s where many of us are, I suspect. But as I look around this wide field/world, I can tell I am not alone. Not totally, anyway.

Silf encourages her readers to think of the various people who helped guide them in learning and using their particular plows. I remember several good friends who have stayed by my side over the years. Yes. I remember a therapist, a spiritual director, certain professors in seminary. All helped me to keep my furrow straight.

Has anyone mentioned you and your progress through life? Possibilities are (or, have been) presented that come out of the painful places in the past, as well as those happy, productive times, too? Yeah. Me, too. Thank God that I am in a place where I know I am loved by God, and where I feel loved, encouraged and supported. (By a few people, at least!)

Let’s pray. Dear Lord, gracious God, thank You for bringing special people into each of our lives. Thank You for those things they have taught us. I pray for each dear one. Give each one the support they need, right now. Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

[1] Silf, Margaret, Inner Compass: Introduction to Ignatian Spirituality (Chicago: Loyola Press, 1999), 13.