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Friday, May 5, 2017

A Peaceful Presence of Seamless Dignity

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

 Philippians 4:4-8(NIV)


 Jesus wept.

John 11:35 (NIV)


Last evening Connie and I had dinner with Anthony Edwards.  We know Anthony from church.  Both Connie and I immediately sensed something different about this young man upon first observing him.  He has a peaceful presence of seamless dignity.  At dinner he made remarks that surprised me.  He said that on Sundays in church when meditating  before the services begin, he silently prays "Jesus wept."  Next he confessed that when speaking before a gathering, he experiences anxiety.

Praying that Jesus wept can run counter to the commencement of many church services which often focus on the joy and happiness of the faith.  His prayer is an important reminder that love sometimes brings not joy, but deepest pain especially when triggered by the suffering or death of loved ones.

There can be many causes of anxiety but most originate from a sense of being overwhelmed--the pace is too fast, a feeling that one lacks the skill set required for the task, insufficient resources, a sense of crescendoing systemic failure, and most certainly the realization that one's ability to affect the opinion of others (even of their opinion of you personally--of your health, politics, religion or lack thereof...even of your basic trustworthiness) is largely outside your control.  Christians at this point enabled by faith accept their extensive limitations.  Their job at hand is to do their absolute best and leave it to the Holy Spirit to effectuate divinely legitimate ends. Upon this trust arises a peaceful presence of seamless dignity.

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