Today, the blog is personal.
I like Kirk Franklin’s “Pray for Me” for several reasons. It reminds me of the need for prayer, your need and mine. It speaks of the deep desires heard in Leonard Cohen’s cri de couer, “Hallelujah,” but with the hope found in a community of voices responding. Perhaps, most strongly for me, Franklin communicates in story. Those who know me, know I speak in stories. Sometimes it takes a little longer to get to the point, but point there is and the story usually makes it better understood. Usually.
I’ve posted on Facebook the incredible view from my room at the Banff Springs Hotel. And maybe I lost you at “Banff.” But it’s a journey to get here.
Yesterday morning, I rose at 3:00 (1:00 Mountain Time) to take a friend visiting from South Africa to the airport for her flight home. At the airport for 4:30, it didn’t make much sense to head back home when my flight was leaving at 7:30. A friend picked me up at the airport in Calgary and I made my first trip to Big M Drug Mart. If you’re a Canadian freedom of religion geek, you’ll get it (or click on the link for a hint). Yes, Big M is still open on Sundays.
But to do all that meant leaving home before my daughter arrived to send me off. Gosh, I hate to miss those moments. It meant leaving home while my grandson was still in bed, knowing he would wake up to my absence and that of his South African friend whose company John had come to enjoy. At least he would wake up to his Mum being there with his Nana. And, leaving Gloria to get the boy off to school and home again for a few days. And, simply, again, leaving Gloria as I scoot off on another adventure.
Driving into the mountains, I found myself shedding a few involuntary tears as I thought about my Dad. I miss him. It was in the backdrop of the mountains at The Salvation Army’s Miracle Valley that we had what I consider our first significant talk about faith. It altered the trajectory of our relationship and opened the door to a conversation a dozen years later that would heal a brokenness that had long existed between us.
I know God’s in it. I know He’s with us. … I know we need Him.
Tonight when I get to my feet to speak, it will be about 7:45 (9:45 Eastern Time, 10:45 before we turned the clocks back, i.e. after my bedtime) and I need prayer for strength. Tonight when I get to my feet to speak, the big news will likely be the name of the next President of the United States of America, or a continuing nail-biting (for some) wait. Please pray about the distraction.
Tonight’s message is called, “Under Siege or Under Fire: Religious Freedom and the Church in Canada at 150.” It’s an important message. It’s also the tentative title of a book that is almost finished. Negotiations with a publisher (hopefully, soon to be referred to as “my publisher”) going well, it will be available in the Spring of 2017. Pray for tonight, pray for the negotiations and pray for me to finish the remaining few chapters on time.
I won’t likely get back to the blog before I speak tomorrow morning (11:45 Mountain Time; 1:45pm Eastern) on the topic, “Under Siege and Under Fire: The Global Church in a Multi-Religious World.” Prayer for that would be appreciated as well.
I just really need my praying friends to pray for me. And, I’m daring to ask openly. To express a bit of my current story. And share my appreciation for an artist like Kirk Franklin being an encouragement to do so.
I’m off to join the community of pastors and their spouses that are gathered here as we share in prayer and communion to start our day. I am looking forward to it as something I simply need right now.
Pray for me.