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The Forward Day by Day Meditation for September 17, 2014

We post a Forward Day by Day Meditation for every day of the year - and we invite you to consider them and talk about them here. If you'd like to comment, please register for an account at Facebook. By checking the "Post to Facebook" box when commenting, you'll be able to find and quickly link back to this page from your Facebook account. You can also find the past week's Meditations in the box at right (or below, for mobile users), or search for previous entries on the Archives page.

WEDNESDAY, September 17      Ember Day

Psalm 72:12-13, 18 For he shall deliver the poor who cries out in distress, and the oppressed who has no helper. He shall have pity on the lowly and poor…Blessed be the Lord GOD…who alone does wondrous deeds!

In 2008, after surviving a rare infection and learning to live in a body changed by permanent nerve damage, I felt a real kinship with Job when the lump my doctors and I hoped was just swollen tissue turned out to be a tumor. It was, thankfully, benign, but sizeable, and needed to be removed—a major surgery. I felt lowly, distressed, and oppressed, asking, like Job, “What else, Lord? Haven’t I been through enough?”

The Sunday before the surgery I was in church, praying fearfully. I cried through most of the service, barely hearing the Word or the prayers. But it turned out to be First Communion day for a group of young children, and after communion they gathered in front of the altar, beaming with the joy of the day and their love for Jesus. Then they began to sing, and their sweet voices and shining faces pulled me out of my self-pity. Their refrain: “Blessed be the God who takes such good care of me.”

What an answer to my cry of distress! God had sent a host of grade school angels to bear me up. The years since have not always been easy, but the blessed assurance of what has become a daily prayer abides.

PRAY for the Diocese of Ho (Ghana) (West Africa)

Today the Church remembers Hildegard, 1179.

Ps 72 * 119:73-96; Job 42:1-17; Acts 16:16-24; John 12:20-26

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