Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Today’s text

Romans 12:1

I urge you, then, brothers, remembering the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, dedicated and acceptable to God; that is the kind of worship for you, as sensible people.


I wake again into a world where you are, Holy One. I light three small candles and kneel. Lacking adequate words to thank you, I mumble my prayer in language that strains to say what I am really feeling or what I most need.

But I hope my posture, humble before you, is better prayer than the weak words with which I try to express my need to know you loving and near. May my body praise you when my words cannot say enough. And they never do.

Kneeling, I present myself before you in effect saying, “Take me this day. Do what you will with this life. It’s yours.” Then, I remember Dimce, who was so more given to you than am I.

The front curl of his wavy brown hair danced up and down as he drew a series of intersecting lines on a succession of paper napkins. We sat in a café in Skopje, Macedonia, on a sunny mid-April day.

Dimce was the business manager of a non-profit agency that dug wells in poor villages in his country. But this day he was diagramming how he managed the flow of food and supplies from ports in Greece and Albania, through rugged mountain passes to refugee camps that housed more than 80,000 in Macedonia.

Eighty thousand lives depended on his incomprehensible scribble that looked like the diagram of a football play drawn in the dirt by a demented 11 year-old in his backyard.

Most impressive, though, was Dimce himself. He never looked up. He extended his diagram from one rumpled napkin to the next, explaining all the while but he never looked at me. Not once.

He was given, totally surrendered to a life-giving task that had become a holy obsession. Holy, indeed, since creating and nurturing life to fullness and joy is God’s work, God’s only work. Dimce was given to that holy labor, body and soul.

I think of him, My Lord, and so many others who taught me without having any idea that I would remember them long after. He did not give you a part of himself, nor did he surrender some small pleasure to discipline himself or to identify with your sacrificial love as we do in Lent.

His gave himself to your life-giving labor of love for the world. And there was no doubt in my mind that this is what he wanted to do. A deep desire within his soul moved him, not some external compulsion or law.

I wonder, from what life-giving spring does this desire spring afresh?

It is you, loving God. It is always you. Give me that desire. Awaken me each day to your mercies that I may be as surrendered to your life-giving ways as is Dimce. He is a portrait of all that you are. Would to God that I should glow with such beauty.

Pr. David L. Miller

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