Not afraid to fly

I’ve been working this week on a sermon for a special memorial service at our church this week.  (Sunday, May 20th 5:00 at Harrisburg UMC).  The service is put together by one of our small groups called “Grief Journey” which offers support to those who have lost a loved one.  As I have been working on what I want to say, I’ve been remembering a saint by the name of Penny Leonard who I had the blessing to walk with as she lived and died and was born to life eternal.  As a pastor every death is important but some deaths really hit us more personally and deeply, and Penny was one of those for me.  She was more than just a parishioner, she was a soul friend and I loved her deeply.  Her life of faith was an inspiration to me and I give thanks every time I remember her.

About a week before she died, her husband was sharing some things that Penny wanted to be part of her memorial service and stuck in the pages of her bible was this envelope with a sentence long prayer scribbled in Penny’s handwriting.  The prayer moved me so much that I asked Penny where she found it and she said that it was the prayer of her life, something she had written years ago.  Here is the prayer:

Dear God, the part of you that is in me is the best part of me.

 I found my wings within your love and I am not afraid to fly.  Amen.  

Wow – that is the Gospel and the secret to a life well lived!  To know that every good part of us is evidence of God’s unmerited love for us.  To know that God’s love in Jesus has the power to set us free from sin, from temptation, from death, and from hopelessness.  To stand in the face of death, suffering, injustice, and fear and say “I am not afraid” as we move forward into God’s future is to know, intimately and deeply, the LORD of all life.  What a prayer!

I share this with you by way of invitation.  Where is God’s image most clearly in your soul?  Where do you most naturally reflect God’s goodness?  Do you remember that God put this image there because God loves you?  How is God calling you to a deeper trust in His work in your life, the kind of trust that gives you the courage to fly?

I’m praying with Penny and hope you will too!



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