Devotion for 01/20/2021

“He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
  and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
  and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)
 Today I find myself with conflicting emotions as I reflect on the lives of two women.
On the one hand, I am grieving the loss of a woman from the first congregation I served. Last night, I heard that Ulla died at the age of 90 due to complications from Parkinsons. She was an amazing woman of incredible strength and boundless compassion. She always sought to learn more, grow more, and give more. I heard about those traits in her stories of her nursing career both in the mission field and here in the US. I saw those traits in her leadership at church and the gifts and creativity and knowledge she would share. The world is a bit emptier without her in it.
It did not surprise me when her son shared a quote from her that she used her whole life:
________“It’s not what happens to a person that is important …
_________ … it is what a person does with what happens that matters.”
In light of that quote, I also share how inspired I was today by another woman, Amanda Gorman, 22 years old, our National Youth Poet Laureate, who delivered her poem “The Hill We Climb” at today’s presidential inauguration. In her words she sought to inspire all of us to take up this task before us with our country, acknowledging that though we are far from perfect, we are called to move toward a vision of the Beloved Community. In words that sounded like my friend Ulla, Amanda concluded,
                       “For there is always light,
                       If only we are brave enough to see it,
                       If only we are brave enough to be it.”
It is the vision of the Kingdom of God that guides us. It is the call of Micah to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God. It is the call to celebrate our differences and realize that this vision, this task, this call, requires all of us working together, being together.
So in both the grief and inspiration I bear this day, I will let these words of Ulla, these words of Amanda, shape how I am called to be in the love and grace of God. And I invite you to join me.
God, when I am tempted to be overwhelmed by the darkness, kindle in me the fire of your love. Help me to be brave enough to see the light. Help me to be brave enough to be the light.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.