Last week I posted a quote from Henri Nouwen (see post below this one). I was preparing a sermon called “Blessed” in which I proposed a) that “Blessed” can simply mean “to be touched by God”, and God is most likely to be found among those who are in most need of God’s touch – the mourners, the lost, last, least, left behind. And b) that the “Blesseds” in the Beatitudes were not values to aspire to; after all, I said as an aside,”Who wishes to aspire to mourning?”
As a family we weren’t to know that 48 hours later, we would be the ones in mourning, reeling at the news of Norman’s father’s sudden death. In the hours since, we have been “Blessed” – touched by God through this Community of Faith at Cedar Park. Outpouring of condolences, cards, emails, hugs, cups of tea,tears for us, practical helpers offering rides to airports, marshalling helpers to pick up the worship responsibilities for Sunday so that I can be with Norman and the family for the funeral in Devon, UK. I look at that quote from Nouwen, and I am so, so, deeply grateful that these are now no longer mere words on a page, but truths we are experiencing among you. This is what “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” means. God touches us where we most need God’s touch, where our hearts are near breaking point. God’s healing touch is made tangible through the gift of community.
Thank you. I thank God for you.