“When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” (Genesis 9:16)
The rains came. The waters rose. The ark floated. The sun appeared. The dove flew. The ark landed. Noah worshiped.
The rainbow appeared.
The story of Noah’s Ark is well known and familiar to us. I imagine the flood as a massive time-out for humanity. God the Parent had had enough. As an educator, whenever time-out is used, the general rule of thumb has always been one minute for each year of life. So a three-year-old, for example, would sit in time-out for three minutes.
There was another school shooting recently, this time in Santa Fe, Texas. I was out-of-town and found out from Megan who texted me the news. Even though we are parents of a toddler, the anxiety that a school shooting creates is not lost on us.
According to a recent Washington Post article, the Santa Fe shooting was not the only one that week. In fact, there has been a large number of school shootings and threats of shootings in 2018. Another article from the Washington Post reports that more children have been killed by school shootings this year than deployed service members.
And while I’m in favor of some action happening to discuss the various issues related to school shootings, I found myself praying. I share with you my prayer and invite you to pray with me.
When I was a kid, in the cold of winter, we heated our home through a wood stove – a fireplace. One of our chores during those cold months was to bring firewood up to the house so that there would be wood near by in the cold of the night.
The firewood chores, however, started well before winter. Sometimes as early as the summer, but always during the fall. Any trees that had fallen during a summer storm, or that just needed to come down, were fair game. Dad would cut the trees with a chain saw, and then the splitting would happen with an ax. We would be responsible for hauling the split wood to the wood pile and stack it just right.
It was sometime in 2008, while working at Lebanon United Methodist, I got a phone call about firewood. There was someone in our community without firewood to heat their home in the cold winter days. In the county over there was a church who had a firewood ministry, and as such they had a stock pile. They allowed us to use their wood. I called the United Methodist Men‘s president, Claude, and we rode out to load up a trailer full of wood and deliver it to the home in need.
when i hold your little hands in mine
i can’t help but wonder what your hands will hold
will your hands give food to the hungry?
will they raise up in protest of discrimination and racism?
will they hold a book into the wee hours of the morning?