Cast your burden on the Lord,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
the righteous to be moved.
Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
There's no doubt that this is a tough time to be in the world. A pandemic, race tensions, murder hornets, Saharan sand, politics, elections, and more. Every single person I talk to is carrying heavy burdens for their personal and professional lives, stress and anxiety, fear and frustration, anger and disappointment. Zoom meetings, small gatherings, and chance encounters in the store feel heavy with the emotional strain of everyday life.
So yesterday, the softly spoken words of my Irish friend, author and storyteller, Gareth, resonates within my soul. When he leads gatherings and retreats for folks, he almost whispers, in his gentle Irish brogue, the invitation, "Bring what ya have and ask for what ya need." It's simple and profound. When we come to one another as Christians, in small moments of chance encounters and the structured time of small groups, classes, and worship, we bring what we have. Our burdens and our blessings. And we ask for what we need. Forgiveness and fellowship. We are honest, we are vulnerable, we are generous, and we are healed.
For many of us, we have missed all of that from our distance in quarantine. We yearn to gather in small and large groups, to transcend our difficult reality for the peace of those moments where we bring what we have and ask for what we need. As a pastor, as a leader, as a father, and as personality type focused on the needs of others, I often forget I have needs myself. Perhaps you do too. Or perhaps, you forget that we all are carrying heavy burdens just now. We will gather once more on July 5 for drive-in worship, a first phase of a new normal. I hope you'll be there. I miss you. And I hope you'll bring what ya have and ask for what ya need.