Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thanks...

Storm over pier in Wicklow Town
I was down by the harbour here in Wicklow yesterday.  The wind was wet with a light rain. It was whipping about while the waves were relentlessly attacking the rocky shore.  I was alone on the pier, no surprise really.   No reasonable person would have been out there.  I was there to listen, to pray. (to be honest I was feeling a little sorry for myself) I'm slowly learning to do what I can do here in Ireland, and to leave the rest to God - easier said than done!  

Anyway, as I walked up from the pier I turned my sights towards the ruins of Black Castle.  Fighting the wind, I happened on a marker which shared that this was the spot where St. Patrick had attempted to land, only to have stones thrown in his direction.  As you may have already heard, the legend is one of those stones hit a monk in the mouth, knocking out his front teeth.  This marker shared that this same monk later returned to plant the church in this community.  He gained the nickname "Mhantain" which means toothless.  It's now the Irish name of this community, Cill Mhantáin - Church of the toothless one!  An amazing story of grace!

Yet as I stood there alone in the wind and the rain God spoke into my life.  We have a tendency to talk about how St. Patrick brought the gospel to Ireland, like he did it by himself. Yet the truth is he was NOT alone.  There was at least one guy that came with him, albeit he had a toothless smile.  And I'm guessing there were many others.  In turn I began thinking about Paul.  He too was not alone.  There was Luke, Silas, Barnabas, Timothy, the church at Antioch, and many, many others. 

As I reflected on all this I realize we are not alone.  In fact I arrived home to find a card from one of our churches in Oregon reminding me that Jesus was with us.  That led me to be reminded we are the BODY of Christ and each one of us is a part of it.  We are together in this most excellent adventure.  It's good to know we're NOT alone, don't you agree?

What an encouragement!  Thanks!  Your support, encouragement, prayers, cards and gifts lift us more than you can know.  You have no idea the difference YOU are making in our lives and ministry.