I leave this evening to go on an Emmaus walk
as a member of the servant team. I’ve never done this before; the only walk I have been on was my own walk as a pilgrim. As with any trip, there are decisions to be made. What will I take with me? What will I leave behind?
First, what will I leave behind?
I’m leaving the blog behind. For the next two days, I won’t be posting. I am, however, leaving Sandpiper’s Thoughts in very good hands. There will be two guest bloggers taking charge on Friday and Saturday.
On Friday, Jeff the Methodist will once again be blogging, not in response to a challenge
this time, but to a request. If you click on that “challenge” link, you’ll see his previous guest blogging appearance, and my words of introduction. Those still stand, but I thought I would add to them today. To give you a taste of Jeff’s post tomorrow, I want to feature his involvement in the Walk to Emmaus
program in our area. Jeff went on his first walk in 2000, and since then, has served on five walk teams, including on one in the role of Lay Director of the walk. He is now serving on the Board of our local community. All of that tells you that Jeff is very familiar with the Walk to Emmaus program, but doesn’t tell you much about who Jeff is. He is a man who walks daily with God and says “yes” to His leading. He constantly shares God’s gifts of proclamation, exhortation and leadership with our church. He is also a friend who said “yes” when asked to write for the blog. Thank you, Jeff.
On Saturday, my husband, Steve, will be blogging. Steve has blogged before. You can read two of his prayers here
. One of Steve’s gifts from God is the ability to pray straight from his own heart to God’s heart. To get to know a little bit about Steve, check out the post from his birthday
. How can I introduce you to my best friend? He is the biggest blessing God has given me in this life. He is kind, considerate, thoughtful and faithful. He listens – to me, to our sons, and to God. I’ve known him for over half of my life, and in July, will have been married to him for 20 years. Nothing is real until I share it with him. He continually puts other people first. I stand where I am, doing what I do, because he stands with me. Wherever God leads me, Steve is saying, “I’m here, and I’ll help.” Steve’s original walk was a year and a half ago; he just finished serving on his first walk team. The post he has written for Saturday is an analogy that he shared during his walk. I liked it so much that I asked him to share it with you. Thank you, Steve, for saying “yes,” and I love you.
So I leave you in very good hands.
What else am I leaving behind? My watch. I didn’t put it on this morning. I’m taking a clock and my cell phone, both of which will tell me what time it is, but I leave my wrist bare to remind myself that during this walk, I am on God’s time.
What am I taking with me?
I mentioned that Steve served on a team a couple of weeks ago. The Lay Director of that men’s walk asked Steve to serve back in June. He thought about it all through vacation. Sitting on the beach one day, he told me that he was going to tell David ‘yes.’ That day, we went to an outlet mall, and we stopped in a Bible Outlet (Did you know that there are outlet stores for bibles?). While we were there, I purchased a cross. I habitually carry a cross in my pocket as a touchstone. I don’t use it for prayer as often as I should, but when I reach into my pocket, I find it, and I remember whose I am. Once Steve told David ‘yes,’ I began to carry this cross in particular each day. My plan was to carry it until Steve left to go on his walk, and then to give it to him, so that he could have it with him that weekend, as I reminder that I was, and had been, praying for him.
Great idea, except that I lost the cross. It fell out of my pocket and was gone. Later I bought another one – a different one – this one has a little alpha-fish on it. From the day of Steve’s first team meeting until our team consecration service, I carried this second cross, attached to an angel that Steve had given me months before. After communion during the consecration service, I gave him this second cross. He carried it on his walk, and is still carrying it.
Yesterday, I was walking in front of the couch downstairs, and looked down. There on the floor, as bright as day, was the first cross. If I tell you that it was in front of “my spot,” I mean that it was on the floor right where I sit each and every evening, watching TV, working on the lap top computer. Right in plain view. I picked it up, attached it to my angel (which I was still carrying), and it will go with me on the walk.
The angel itself is actually a prayer box – you can open it up and stick a very tiny prayer inside of it. I thought of doing this, but instead I’m going to leave it empty. I’m counting on the prayers of others to fill her up. I looked at the 72-hour prayer vigil for the walk today. Of the 72 hours, 19 of them will be filled with either members of my reunion group or of my church. That’s 26% (I have the heart of a counter). I have no doubt that this walk will be surrounded by the prayers of my friends and family.
I’m taking with me a note from a friend in my reunion group (see the pretty card in the picture?), and email notes from friends, who have encouraged and affirmed. God’s blessings are abundant.
I’m taking the book you see in the first picture. It is my Emmaus prayer journal. In it, along with other lists and prayers, will be a copy of the prayer vigil list. I want to know who is praying and when. I’m not sure how I’ll do that without a watch, but we’ll see. Attached to the book will be a piece of agape from my own walk – a lighthouse from our Andrew’s Brothers.
What else am I taking? I have no idea. I haven’t packed yet!!! I leave in seven hours, and I’m not sure where my suitcase is. That’s a lie. I know just where it is, but I’m not telling.
May God use me this weekend, and may he keep me out of his way. Amen