Today was fun. For the first time in a long while the Twin Cities had a full day of warm sunshine. I was able to enjoy it working outside on a Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity work site. Eight members of Resurrection Lutheran joined fourteen others on a new build at 522 Thomas Avenue in St. Paul, MN. We pounded nails, cut boards and lifted roof trusses. We ate pizza and drank lots of water. As I said, it was fun.
I had the opportunity to lead a short devotion before the work began. I centered it on the book of Nehemiah and their rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem after the exile. The people had become discouraged because their capital city was in chaotic disrepair. The most grievous symbol of that brokenness was their wall. For people of that time, a walled city was sign of protection and vitality.
We no longer need city walls for safety, but we still need to rebuild walls of shelter for others ins our city. The previous house at the Habitat site had become a drug haven and the city closed and condemned it. Now Habitat has the opportunity to rebuild and reclaim this neighborhood with a new home and enthusiastic homeowners. Though no homeowner has yet been selected for this home, I am confident that Habitat will select a family that will invest in their home and neighborhood.
My favorite verse from Nehemiah is “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). I experienced that joy today working with others and so thankful that their joy gave me strength.
Lord Jesus, lets us rebuild our city with your joy, strength and peace.
My blog was interrupted by life. Last Saturday, my 85-year-old mother fell in her apartment and fractured her hip. Since she suffers from dementia I had to make several medical decisions with her, the primary one being whether to have surgery to repair the fracture. Since it was the week-end I could not reach her gerontologist until Monday and then we played phone tag until Tuesday. I wanted her input since she knew both my mother’s dementia and her physical capabilities. After conversation with doctors, family, and friends the decision was made for surgery.
I also prayed a lot during this time, asking God to provide wisdom and guidance. I asked others to pray as well. I don’t see prayer as a magic formula but I trust that God weaves his will into the thoughts and decisions we make. I am thankful for all the prayers that came from family and friends, especially Resurrection Lutheran Church.
Mom with her children at grandson's wedding.
My mother’s surgery went well at Woodwind’s Hospital and within twenty-four hours she was taking her first steps. Wednesday afternoon she and I watched an old Cosby TV show and we laughed together at his antics. It was her 86th birthday and she had her old smile back, the one she flashed at my son’s wedding a month ago. Thanks be to God.
The joy of the Lord is our strength. Nehemiah 8:10.
Lord Jesus, we walk by faith and not by sight. Help us to trust you in all things. Amen.