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Pass It On

Today’s Reflection

Through the Mail Slot

THREE YEARS AGO a young neighbor with special needs and disadvantages insinuated herself into my life. At my front door looking for daily attention, she would flip open the mail slot, align her eyes with the narrow slit, and scope out my living area. Harboring wild-eyed fear of my cat, she stayed outside, sometimes silent, sometimes stammering.

And there she was, [one Sunday] afternoon, a pair of brown eyes spying on my guests as they ate cheese and crackers. Half an hour later, craning her neck, she watched me, sitting at the end of the dining table directing the flow of bowls and platters. Back in the living room eating pie, we all were aware of the metallic click as she’d run off, distracted, before returning to her eagle-eye perch.

I knew I was not powerless in the situation. I could have latched the screen door. Or asked her mother to call her home. But with a brief apology and explanation to my guests, I followed my heart: Let her stay. She’s unaccustomed to place settings and sitting in place. Let her see this ordered gathering. Let her observe how I host a meal.

Three years older now, she walks around the cat in the living room. She grates cabbage for slaw and fills the pepper grinder in the kitchen. She sets the table when I’m expecting company. “Knife on the right.” She looks puzzled. “You write with your right,” I whisper.

God, give me a vision for passing along to a younger generation what I’ve observed in and absorbed from older mentors.

– Evelyn Bence
Room at My Table

From pages 46-47 of Room at My Table: Preparing Heart and Home for Christian Hospitality by Evelyn Bence. Copyright © 2014 by Evelyn Bence. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Pray today’s prayer. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.
Matthew 23:12, NRSV

This Week: pray for people struggling with addictions. 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: Rosa Parks (October 31).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling November 5, 2017, 2:51 am

    I attended a clean and green fair yesterday. There was this ‘pass it on ministry’ which i signed up. It is about recycling what we have. If we are not using a computer or anything, we can pass it on to others who needs it.

    Father God, thank you for blessing us abundantly. May we pass it on to others who needs what extras we have at home.

    May we also pass along to the younger generation what we have observed and absorbed from older mentors.

    May you help those addicted to any kind of substances, O God. Help them to find the purpose you have for them and use them mightily to glorfy you!

    • Marcy November 5, 2017, 1:47 pm

      Amen, Mary!

  • Louise November 5, 2017, 5:02 am

    As a mother, aunt, family friend, and teacher I am submerged myself into the life of young people everyday and I love it. I ask God to help me be the best version of myself that I can be so that I can guide, teach, and help all that cross my path everyday. I have had many older mentors in my life who have taught me many wonderful things. I find that many of the things that I have learned over the years remain the same but are portrayed differently or are called by a different name. In today’s technology infused world many of the things that use to be done manually using pencil and paper and other tools are now done by pushing buttons on a piece of technology
    and viewing a monitor. Don’t get me wrong I think technology is wonderful…we would not have UR with out technology…but there are many other things apart from technology that are worth seeing and learning about…worth passing on. My daughter and I have recently started a group that have both young and older women and we combine technology and manual labor with a bit of creative thought. We view tutorials online and then create things. This has become a place where the older and younger generations come together for conversation and creation. I will let you know how it goes. I pray for all those who are struggling with addictions…may they find recovery and peace. I pray for those who struggle mentally, physically, and spiritually. I pray for all here at UR that you will find relief from pain, sorrow, and loneliness and be peaceful knowing that God has his arms around you and He guides and loves you always. I pray that God will help all who live in our world find compassion, gratefulness, love, and understanding for each other.

  • Jill November 5, 2017, 5:22 am

    Certainly, as a teacher, there seems to always be a teachable moment. There are always eyes on me and I have become much more aware of my reactions, body language and tone. And while I must teach my subject matter, I feel the strong need to demonstrate appropriate people skills, problem solving strategies, and perseverance. And while my students are still maturing, I feel it necessary to illustrate what an appropriate mature decision/reaction would look like.
    Grateful for time spent with mom yesterday morning. Grateful to get yard work accomplished, including pulling up the last of my flowers. Met a neighbor who lives a few houses down, and helped her a bit with moving some dirt. Didn’t really know if my hands could handle it, but I felt like The Spirit was moving me to go down there and offer. My shoulders are a bit stiff this morning, will wait and see if there are further repercussions today. But – I feel at this point, I must push myself to do things and see what my limits are. Suzanne encourages me to test the perceptions of my reality…to try to subtly raise that bar.

    • Marcy November 5, 2017, 1:46 pm

      Jill, so happy for your neighbor that you were able to help them yesterday! Will pray your only repercussion is the sore muscles. You’re such a blessing to others, as you feel you have also been blessed!

  • Marcy November 5, 2017, 10:03 am

    First, thank you, Mary, Louise and Jill, in the work you do in service to our young people through your God-given gift of teaching. God’s blessings to you and other teachers who do such important work.

    Lord, please show me how I can better serve you in “passing it on”. I’m not in contact with young people, an absence not of my own making. So I ask You, Lord, to bless our young people and those who surround them. Please let my prayers for others, of all ages, be my contribution in serving You. I listen for Your Word, and await Your instruction through the Holy Spirit. Amen.

    Lord, please hear our prayers for all who are suffering mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Bring us health, hope and harmony and keep us all safe and well.

    Praying for all of you here in the UR family, each and every one of you and your families. May you all experience much happiness and joy. I am grateful for each of you, for your encouragement and and acceptance. May all who enter here be cradled in the love of this UR family through God’s provision.

    As always – – Faith, Hope and Love, and the greatest of these is LOVE!

  • Cherie November 5, 2017, 12:58 pm

    I always receive a blessing when I start my day with Reflections and this loving family. Love and Light!

    • Marcy November 5, 2017, 1:41 pm

      Blessings to you too, Cherie. Love hearing from you and hope all is going well! ♡♡

  • robert moeller November 6, 2017, 10:20 am

    Not sure how I missed this reflection. Wonderful news from each of you on the activities you do. Thank You, Lord, for the help each of you provides.

    I really like the “PASS IT ON” idea. Think that is very much a part of the way I was brought up. Sometimes I find the reception of things I want to pass on a bit difficult, but there are also success stories.

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