Today has truly been one of great extremes as I contemplate the loss of a lovely lady, suddenly and unexpectedly taken, others walking the path towards the exit of this life into the eternal love and presence of God and those who are struggling to exit early; alongside which there was a midweek Communion to bless and pastoral encounters to challenge.
Lord, I thank you for the life of a woman who slowly and in the background became someone who popped up and chatted from time to time - a woman who had a voice that she was willing to make heard when needed and a grace that overcame situation, circumstance and experience. May she rest in peace and rise again in glory and those she leaves know of your presence and hand upon them.
Lord - help me to take the winning shot and then accept the fact without needed to add to go any further than is needed. To be the man you have called me to be and to stand fearlessly and tirelessly as, and wherever, you call me to be.
For the (many) times when I deserve a slap, I truly repent and seek to be someone different.
For the times when I might leave unsaid what needs to be said through fear of being thought harsh, forgive me and help me to amend this perhaps 'too gentle' error in me.
For the times when my frustration at the failings of others around causes me to stumble - help me to pray for them rather than merely get wound up and look less than the man I am through your love and life.
For our children, I pray that they would have a sure and steady, enabling, faith and that the furrows they plough might be straight and fruitful. For our four very different children I pray for them and the futures, those they will love and the lives they will lead - may our quiver full of arrows fly true.
For the woman who sleeps by my side as I type this I give you thanks. For a friend, sister, colleague and love who at times sees my feet of clay (and head of poo) and still loves me - the respect and admiration she commands at times through her own perambulatikns and calling - I am so very grateful and just a lot besotted.
Father God, for the encounters today and the places when You have been made obvious and apparent; for the spaces where heaven and earth have existed a fingertip apart; for siblings and family and fun and new terms begun - all of this is yours and for that I am so thankful.
Lord as today closes and the new day beckons - open up for me the opportunities and the encounters and the challenges - and as they appear, help me to be your man amidst it all.
You are a great God and Your hand is seen, your love is felt, and your voice is heard in so many, oft ignored, ways - make me a herald, a partner and keep me as Your beloved as the dawn appears and the day is mine to serve you.
"When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."
1 Cor 15