There are days in the calendar year that are significant. Your birthday, the birth of a family member, an anniversary like a wedding or a graduation. The day when one of our loved ones passed away.
Saturday 16th was my mother’s birthday and even though she is no longer with us, her birthday, I believe, is as important to me as when she was alive. That Saturday morning, the first memory that came to me was not something that she did or said, but what I used to do.
I would wait till it was not too early in Chile, there is a time difference of three hours. Then I made a call saying: “Mum, you are getting old, but that is ok, happy birthday, love you”. During the last years of her life, we used Facetime so instead of a just phone call we could now see each other, which was brilliant!
I want you to know that I am missing that, I am missing the fact that I could be really cheeky with her, knowing and loving the fact that she would tell me off, and I know that she loved it. It has been five years since she died, and I could give up anything right now to hear her voice one more time. I want you to know that many of us are hurting, isolated and remembering loved ones with natural affections. At the same time, I have found so much strength in being thankful for my mum’s life, and all the memories I have of her. I allow her memories to shout at me so that I will not despair.
This pandemic has the potential to take away what sometimes we take for granted, family and friends. Can I ask you to join with me in praying for them, making a phone call, or sending them a letter? Being thankful is not a sign of weakness, but it is a sign of being filled with God’s Presence.
Philippians 4:6-7 still resonates deep in my heart, we are not alone, we have His Spirit, we have each other. We have his Peace, his Presence. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6–7 NKJV)
In the next weeks, you will receive a booklet produced by Church called “For Now”, I would like you to use it as your devotional and if you can share it with your family or share it with a friend (you can phone, Facetime, WhatsApp, ZOOM etc.)
Rev. Dario Leal
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