Father God, I pray for “Eli”*. As I started to write for the prayer list, I just had a profound sense of sadness for him and for all that happened. Only you know if he even remembers our encounter, but I remember. I remember his knowledge of your word. I remember being impressed with his ability to quote Scripture with as much fluidity as if they were flowing from his very being. Yet, I also remember the tears in His eyes as he considered the words You should say to him regarding Your grief and love for Him in the midst of his struggle with drugs. Then how quickly that moment of vulnerability and tenderness turned to anger and spite. As easily as he spouted your truths he was able to shout “God bless you!” at us as a weapon of harm rather than good, because we did not give him any money. I remember how my compassion for Eli, just as quickly tuned as well. I wanted to throw my hands up in the air with exasperation, and even though I did not physically do the action, my heart felt what my body did not express. Father I can remember much, but far too often forget what is most important. In that encounter, in that moment I forgot Your grace, mine as well as Eli’s need for it. I forgot the work of Jesus on the cross that gives us both reason and ability to be people of love and grace despite our very own hearts. I forgot that it is You who sustains us and relationships, as I know that I am prone to want to give up when things turn ugly, when I turn ugly. Forgive me Father for how I remember and hold on to things with a tight fist and heart the things which weigh me down and so easily forget You who daily offers to trade my heavy yoke for Yours which is easy with a burden which is light. Thank you Father for allowing me to feel the heaviness so that I can again remember You. Thank you Father that You even give me something, Someone to remember.
*name has been changed