Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Sunday School (10/25/07)
TITLE: Only As A Facilitator
By Loren T. Lowery
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Remember in college when we used to study together? Well I wish we could do that right now. Study together.
You see, I’ve been asked to teach the adult Sunday school class next week. I guess facilitate is a better term when presenting information to adults, so that’s what I’ll call myself for that day, a facilitator.
I can imagine the look of shock on your face, hearing this. Or maybe, it would be a wink and a nod; simply because you always had more faith in me than anyone.
Want to hear what the subject’s going to be? "Losing your faith and finding it again". After these past two years, I guess Reverend Michaels thought I’d be a shoe in for this topic. Painful as it is, he’s probably right.
Truth be known, I’m thinking I might get more out of this lesson than anyone else might. But, yes, it’s going to be painful, too. Remembering.
I’m not too sure where I’ll begin. Probably at that moment when we were together and had everything. The world was our oyster. Faith was easy then, when the bird was on the wing and all was right with the world.
Then you got sick and everything changed. Faith, believing in a benevolent, healing God wasn’t so easy. A faithful friend, it seemed had turned his back on us.
Our righteous robes so perfect so protective when it seemed His eyes were upon us, tuned to tattered rags the moment it looked as if He had turned away. Leaving us raw and naked, exposed and vulnerable. Hurt, pain does that, strips us of pretense.
Do you think others have experienced the same thing? Not in the same way as ourselves, but in their own way. Will I, as a facilitator, be able to bring it out?
Right now, at this very moment, I miss your wink and nod, the gentle brush of your hand atop mine, wordless assurances that yes, I can and I will.
You would probably tell me something about the Holy Spirit leading the lesson. “Ask Him to there,” you’d say. I can hear your voice now. “Pray.”
And, I will, with all my heart and soul. I will pray that the message for the lesson come not from me, but through me. That those ears and eyes that need to hear or see be opened. That we share in fellowship and grow as Christ would have us share and grow. That if we are on the precipice of some grand yawning black abyss that we are not alone. That Christ has bridged it, laying His cross over it from edge to edge and we can boldly walk across.
I think I’ll ask Sharon Rich, remember her, she just went through a divorce, to lead the prayer. And then have Charlie Roberts, read Psalms 91. He and his wife lost a baby last year. That verse was a stalwart to us; maybe it will be the same for them. The Psalms have been a meadow of refuge for me since you’ve left…I think God allows souls such as ours to meet there from time to time – to find peace and comfort. A sign of His abundant grace.
Reverend Michaels just asked me this morning after services if I’d do the lesson next week, so this all a little fresh in my mind. I guess that’s another reason I’m writing you, to help formulate a game plan, as we did in college. We were a great team, you and I.
I don’t need to figure everything out right now…we have a week. These nights ahead, when I go to bed I will think of you and listen for your counsel.
Sweetie, I miss you and I guess if there’s any grand overlying message on losing and finding one’s faith that I hope to share with my class next week it is this, it comes from Dante’s “Inferno” Remember reading it?
Over the gates of hell, inscribed upon the portal were these words: “Relinquish all hope, ye who enter here”
That is what a life without faith is like, a relinquishment of hope. Help me with that message next week. Like I said, most likely this lesson will instruct me as much if not more than my "students".
I will look for you in the green meadows. Angles have told me you are there, waiting. My helpmate counseling me what to say, what to do.
Your loving husband for time and eternity.
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