“I dreaded leaving home. I wouldn’t see my father for months at a time. I didn’t know if I could accept that. Dad was all I had.
“One night I came to him teary eyed. ‘Dad, I’m going to miss you so much,’ I sobbed.
“He took my hand and led me outside to our garden. A full moon bathed the grass and bushes in silver. ‘Look to the moon,’ he said. ‘Wherever you go, this same moon will be shining on you and on me. I will leave a message for you there. When you miss me, just look at the moon and you will see how much I love you.'”
– Roma Downey, from her story in Guideposts, March 2012
Looking out my window, my eyes fall on the darkened home across the way and my heart turns to prayer for my neighbor and her forty-something son. Doctors have just told him, his life is now short. Unfamiliar cars are parking in their drive these days. Perhaps close friends, loved ones coming to bring comfort.
Send them someone they know and trust to share your heart, I pray.
I know my neighbor from book club, but not intimately. I’ve never met her son at all. Intruding on them now does not seem like God’s leading. But prayer does. I walk the loop of my cul-de-sac, talking to the One who sent His son – this day, 2000 years ago – to pour his heart out for each of us.
Wrap them in your peace. Show them Your heart. Let him know he is not alone, this is not the end. How You wait to hold him close, I breathe.
“Knowing hours are now precious, he wants to record stories of his life,” another neighbor and closer friend than most of us, tells us at book club. She is going to “interview” him and help him record. She asks us for our thoughts on possible question topics. Inwardly, I am whispering…
Fill him with your stories, Lord. Hymns he may have sung as a boy. Words of life he may have once learned from You. The love of the Father’s heart running towards him as You do on every page of the Bible…
Circling by their home as I walk and pray, I feel His prompting – find a card, a simple message of My Heart…
Another neighbor stops me to talk, glances sadly over at their house. “You’ve heard?” she asks.
“Yes,” I nod. “I want to get a card…”
She shakes her head. “What can you say –?” she wonders.
I don’t know. Show me, Lord, I muse.
One scripture is on my heart a lot lately. But – it seems sort of – different. Is this really what You want me to share? I wonder.
I run errands, finally stop to browse cards.
Lead me to one that offers your HOPE and GRACE, in love, I ask… and…miraculously led…find it in the very first one I pick up. A simple message to let them know I am praying for peace, comfort of His presence.
I want to keep my own words simple too. Just present His love. What are the words? I entreat Him to show me.
Again the scripture story comes to mind. Trust me, He whispers.
I look it up online, find the translation that speaks most to me. Inside the card, I preface it with a note explaining how at Easter, I love this story because it is His beautiful promise to hold onto us…forever.
Then… I print it out:
One of the criminals hanging alongside cursed him:
“Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!”
But the other one made him shut up: “Have you no fear of God?… We deserve this, but not him—he did nothing to deserve this.”
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.”
“Don’t worry, I will.
Today you will join me in paradise.”
– Luke 23:39-43 The Message
I watch for the postman to complete his route around our block, then walk the card over to place in her box, asking the Lord to anoint it to touch more than I know…
Father, you promise your Word never goes out empty, I remind Him. Use this somehow to speak hope to them… encouraging them to ask, like this one on the cross next to you… and know… the promise of life unending…
Walking back home, I reflect on the two who were closest to Jesus in the account of that moment…abandoned by his Father… there between one who scorned, one who received the gift He so hard-won for him…
And how at the instant it was finished… our Father wrote it -everlastingly- for us there on that mount. Because He misses us. A message written across the stars, the moon, and all the heavens, calling us to know, to ask, and simply… receive. This day, with me, in paradise…
“Sure enough, I was dreadfully homesick in England…I longed for the sea and sky of Ireland and the reassuring sound of Dad’s prayers… Then I looked up. The moon had slipped out from behind a cloud, it’s brightness three-dimensional. My father’s message was etched in the heavens: ‘I love you, Roma. I love you.'”
– Roma Downey
Today… our Father’s very same message is waiting there… for you.
© Pam Depoyan