Thursday, November 17, 2005

Prayer Answered

Lately I have felt a little down, a little uninspired. It’s hard sometimes being the pastor of a church and coming up with some words of inspiration every Sunday. On Tuesday night, I had just wrestled with my son trying to get his diaper and PJs on, and I was sitting there holding him. I asked my Wesley, “You’re such an inspiration to me, but I need God to show me something that will inspire me to write a good sermon this week. I need God to give me a little something, letting me know that I am indeed called to be doing what I am doing.” Questions raised at charge conference about my salary have gotten me feeling defensive about my worth to this community. What is it that I do for them exactly? I don’t render any service but my presence in times of need. I don’t produce any product except for some words on Sunday, hopefully helping people deepen their relationship with God.
I took these questions with me outside to smoke my pipe in what had turned out to be a cold night. I lit my pipe and stood there focused on the shed in my back yard. As I was standing there, it suddenly grew brighter. The trees cast shadows on the grass. I looked up in the sky and saw a full moon. The low hanging clouds were moving rather quickly across the sky, and as they passed, the moon would peek out from behind them and illuminate my whole yard. The radiance of the moon lit up the contours of each cloud moving across the dark sky. I felt like I was on the bottom of the ocean looking up at silver gilded hulls of great ships, moving in from the north. From time to time, Mars or Jupiter would also peek through a small break in the clouds, framing the planet momentarily. It looked surreal, like a photo negative. As the moon drew my yard out of darkness and cast shadows of the fence and trees, the moment also drew my mind out of the darkness of self-doubt and worry. I went inside to get Lara, and she had just finished putting Wesley down for the night. I asked her to get a coat and come out with me. She was thrilled by the sight as well, and pointed out that the moon was so bright that as the clouds grew thinner at the edges, you could see the water vapors in little wispy rainbows. Rainbows at night! Symbols of God’s promise that aren’t restrained to the light of day. Even on a cold dark night, the moon reflects the piercing light of the sun to the extent that it can broken into colors by the prism of water vapor. What a miracle! I was overcome with joy, and took it as an answer to my prayer.