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Today’s Reflection

HOW DO YOU AND I, beloved daughters and sons of God, become more open to the world of those who are broken and powerless? How, with all we have to do, can we enter with them into a more human relationship? …

Caring as God’s beloved children is making the effort to be present to, listen to, and affectionately embrace a weaker brother or sister who may have been frightened by harsh comments, examined by hostile hands, or ignored by deaf ears. We do this even when we can do nothing to change the situation. This is the crux of our challenge. Whether or not we have chosen caregiving as our profession, we do profess that caring is first of all about presence to a beloved brother or sister who at this moment feels powerless. Right here, we accept in ourselves that we are not someone who takes the pain away but rather someone who is willing to share it.

– Henri J. M. Nouwen, with John S. Mogabgab
A Spirituality of Caregiving

From page 55 of A Spirituality of Caregiving by Henri J. M. Nouwen, with John S. Mogabgab, Series Editor. Copyright © 2011 The Henri Nouwen Legacy Trust. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Think of someone around you who feels powerless. How can you be present for him or her? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

O give thanks to the LORD, call on his name, make known his deeds among the peoples.

Psalm 105:1, NRSV

This Week: pray for racial harmony. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Clare of Assisi (August 11).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Louise August 9, 2017, 4:52 am

    When I think of being powerless I think about the wonderful people that I meet through the ministry at my church. When I first got involved I thought how great it was to make a hot meal or to put a package of food together for them…but then I began talking to and getting to know them and I realized that not only did they need someone to feed them but they needed someone to listen to them…They needed help to not feel powerless. Now as I give them food I also take time to listen about who they are, about what they love to do, and about the hardships they are facing in life. I look forward to seeing everyone on Sunday’s…I try hard every week to remember a little something about each one of my friends so they know that I listen and remember. Meeting and helping these people feel like they are a little less powerless has taught me so much…I am blessed because of them.
    I pray for all who struggle mentally, physically, and spiritually. I continue to pray for racial harmony. I pray that God will guide me in all that I do, say, think, and feel. God bless all of you here.

  • robert moeller August 9, 2017, 7:05 am

    Interaction with people, as Louise describes, is the best way to share people’s joys and pain. Jesus has conversations with people. He involves himself with them. Doing as Jesus does/did we connect and then share in another person’s burdens.

    Thankful for progress with the ceiling repair, sheetrock today. Ideas for a small business developing. Wonderful meals enjoyed and research for a new rice cooker underway. Hope to go food shopping today.

    Prayers for pain relief, the resolution of a house sale, progress at a job, communal unity, and improved race relations. Blessings to all who come to the UR, thankful for your posts. God’s peace be with you.

  • Betsy August 9, 2017, 7:07 am

    Wonderful thoughts, Louise. There are so many people that cross our paths each day who are in spiritual or emotional pain. Listening is a comfort we can offer them. I am reminded of the many women I meet who have been affected by incarcerated family members. The shame and secretiveness they carry. Help me, Lord, to also be listening ear that is needed.
    Grateful for another unseasonably cool August morning. Glad to be working with the senior center later this week and preparing for a short family reunion on Sunday. It will be so good to gather for something other than a funeral. Blessings to all this group here.

  • Julie August 9, 2017, 7:54 am

    Listening is one of the few things that I am caapable of doing. I have always been a person that others seek out to talk to when a caring and understanding friend is needed. I am able to truly listen with my entire attention which people can sense. I would like to find a way to use this God given talent.
    Blessings to all today who visit aand read and want to grow in their faith. Prayers for healing,physically, spiritually, mentally, and communally.

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