Long ago, there was a meeting of pastors 100 miles from my house. They had asked me to speak about ministry in daily life, and I agreed. I wrote out my half-hour talk and practiced until I thought I was ready. Then I had to endure a fear-ridden, two-hour journey there. Who was I to believe I had anything to say to this group? Why was I going to include this in my talk? And mercy! That?!? I crept into the hall mentally reworking my talk just as my audience was finishing devotions. I was terrified.
Suddenly someone in a wheelchair backed out of a row and came toward me—a friend I recognized. I knelt down next to her and she put her arms around my neck and whispered, “Oh boy! Are these people in for a treat!” And then she did a modified wheelie and went back to her place. My friend’s bold kindness evaporated my fear. Her warmth allowed me to share my thoughts (as I’d first imagined them) without fear. When I was afraid I would fall on my face, my friend picked me up.
May you have a friend like that. May you be a friend like that.
Today is the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost. The readings are Ezekiel 2:1-5; 2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10 (semicontinuous); Psalm 123; Psalm 48 (semicontinuous); 2 Corinthians 12:2-10; Mark 6:1-13. This message was adapted from “Fear of Falling” by Marj Leegard that appeared in the January/February 2006 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.