Tag Archives: refugees

Waiting is Spiritual?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, December 8, 2015

waiting Advent word cloud

Waiting is Spiritual?

Hurry up and wait. That’s what my father told me life in the Army was like. At least, that’s what it was like for him in World War II, in northern India. The unit he was assigned to would often need to hurry up! Fall in! Pack up! And then, wait. And wait. And, wait some more.

I am so glad I don’t need to face the privations and horrors of war. I cannot even imagine what that would be like. But, I have friends who assist refugees. Yes, some of these refugees come from countries where there is little war or conflict. Refugees come to the United States because of economic difficulties.

But by far, many more refugees are fleeing active conflict. Fearing for their lives, their loved ones’ lives, or both. Having political or ideological differences with the ruling party. Glad and relieved and sad and grieving. Oh, and angry, too. Leaving a home they often will never see again, a country where they never can return.

These are people who truly know what it is like to hurry up and wait. Hurry! Scurry! In fear for their lives sometimes. Masses of refugees being assigned a number. Not a name any longer. Waiting in some sort of holding area, for a long time. Hurry up and wait.

What was it like for the Holy Family? I know we haven’t gotten there yet, in terms of the Christmas story line. But after the coming of the Wise Men, the Holy Family fled to Egypt. They were refugees, for a long time. They had to remain in hiding, fearing for their lives. And especially, fearing for the life of the young child Jesus.

In terms of where I am at, still in the time of waiting. In Advent. I realize that my sense of waiting pales in comparison to the waiting and the patience of God. Henri Nouwen mentions “if … God in Jesus Christ is waiting for our response to divine love, then we can discover a whole new perspective on how to wait in life.” [1]

Dear Lord, help me learn to wait, to be patient and have some of Your patience. Help me be open and willing to assist those who also wait. To come alongside of those who are despairing. Help us all come together as we all wait for You. In relationship with You and in relationship with each other. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayers.


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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), 20.

Comforter? Center Myself in the Name.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, September 6, 2015

COMFORTER Helper Counselor John 14

Comforter? Center Myself in the Name.

So much to pray about today! So, so much. Even more than usual. As I used Centering Prayer today, I had a challenge to stop these other—quite worthy—prayer requests and concerns from interrupting me. Yes, centering was important. And, I have made the commitment to use Centering Prayer each day in September. But, all those prayer requests . . .

The word I chose for today was so fitting. (A Name of God found in the Bible. I’m using that for my word of the day.) My word—Name of God for today is Comforter.

I had all the listed requests to pray for from my church this morning. And, I also had several new requests. People seriously ill. People whose dear ones died. People in transition. And, that’s just the people close to home. Then, there are the serious situations further away. The refugees in Europe lead the way here. I feel for them so much. I am a mom. I can hardly even imagine just a little of what it must be like to have little ones and growing ones in such desperate situations.

So, as I tried diligently to center with the dear Name of Comforter, the impression that kept returning to me was that of coming alongside. Isn’t that comforting? Isn’t that what a Comforter does? (Or, at least, tries to do?)

I checked the reference attached to Comforter. (John 14:26) This word or Name of God is particular to the King James Version. The other versions I looked at have either Advocate or Helper. The Greek word is parakleto. One who pleads or intercedes for another, or defends the cause of another. That is more than just a Comforter. It’s so much more. I have a God who is so much more, too. Thank You, God!


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