“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:34 (NRSV)
On a spring Sunday afternoon, church league softball practice had ended. As we were gathering our gear, I looked into the bleachers where the youth director of the church I was serving was sitting. She was on the verge of giving birth to what would be her first born. I jokingly said, “Tammy, could you have your baby tonight, because I need you at work tomorrow?” She, her husband, and I laughed and went on our way.
Around midnight, I received a call from her doula, also a church member, asking me to come to the hospital where Tammy had been admitted. She told me Tammy was physically fine, but the baby she was carrying had died in the womb. On my way to the hospital to comfort and pray with Tammy and her husband, I was in prayer seeking the Lord’s guidance for the appropriate words to share during these tender moments.
I opened the door to the room and walked to her bedside. Before I could say a word, Tammy lifted her hand, took mine, and said, “Pastor Gary, I don’t know why this happened. But that is not the right question tonight. The right question is, ‘What am I going to do with it?’”
In the coming days, as this young coupled mourned by a graveside and received expressions of love from family and friends, they served as a witness of strength and trust that only comes through faith in Jesus Christ. That witness continued for weeks and months to come.
During these days of Lent – during these days of uncertainty – during these days of church turmoil – during these days of worldwide anxiety, the right question is, “What are we going to do with it?” I suspect some of Jesus’ first followers were properly asking that from the time when the skies darkened on a Friday afternoon until the tomb burst open on Sunday morning. And look what that question and the answer to it have wrought!
A Prayer adapted from St Oscar Romero:
“For those who love God,
all things work for their good.”
There is no misfortune,
there are no catastrophes,
there are no sorrows, however extraordinary,
that cannot become crowns of glory and of hope,
when suffered with love for you, O Lord.
From the NC Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Immigration Alliance
To become aware this week:
Discover ministries already in place and find churches/organizations already serving the Hispanic community.
To cultivate growth this week:
Collaborate with a local immigrant organization to host a community event that offers learning, exposure, and growth in cultural competencies.
To advocate this week:
Mobilize neighboring congregations to respond to the harsh actions seen in our communities.
Gary Allred is a retired elder in the North Carolina Conference.