Sometimes when you preach a sermon it haunts you... you can't get something you said out of your mind or you keep wondering if there was more to be said that you missed or if you got it "all wrong." And sometimes your life takes a new twist that puts everything you said in a different light.
I've been thinking a lot about my last sermon in the past week and a half. Thinking about my claim that we need to weep with people, be a companion for them as they suffer so they aren't alone. My own words (or perhaps, as this is what we hope for when we preach, the words of the Spirit through me) have been running through my mind, challenging me in a way I wasn't prepared for.
When I said that we are called to be with people I took something for granted - that we can be with people. I didn't stop and think about circumstances when we just can't, when distance and other factors keep us seperated from those we would wish to comfort.
One of my dearest friends suffered a tragic loss this past week. And more than anything I just want to be there with her, for her, at the very least talk to her on the phone, just to hear her voice so I can feel as if I am with her in some way. But this friend of mine lives across the ocean and I only have her e-mail, not her phone number. I feel so disconnected and I hate it. I can offer prayer and I do but it doesn't feel like enough.
And so I find myself struggling with how to be a friend, how to be the physical presence of God's love when I cannot be present. I realize that I am not so much a "do-er" but a "be-er." And when I can neither do nor be, I am challenged. I do think that in pray lies, not the answer, but an opportunity to be a friend, a sister in Christ. So I keep praying, praying for my friend and her family and praying for myself, that in that act I will find peace with my limitations.