Every year, when I go on my annual retreat, I visit the statue of St. Jude. I go because I want to remember the first time I went and to look for the angel who was there. The first time I was thinking about Third Son. He was addicted, hurting and miserable. We knew that if he continued his life the way he was going, he would not live to be an old man. St. Jude is the patron saint of Lost Causes so I stood there and wondered. I said a prayer for Third Son, not to St. Jude, but he might have joined the prayer chain composed of the Communion of Saints if he chose, to add his own prayer.
As I stood there the angel came. It looked like a tiny blue bird. A bird that I had never seen there before and have never seen again. The bird peered intently at me, cocking its wee head and said after awhile, “There are no lost causes in the Kingdom of God.” When I got home, I learned that Third Son had died that day. A few weeks later, a music box a friend gave me when he died, began to play for no reason. The music box’s song is “Love Makes The World Go ‘Round.” I checked that music box over and again. I tried to make it play without any prompting, but it would not. I knew Third Son was aware that I loved him. He was gone but not lost.
So, why am I writing about this? Well, because I visited Jude again to look for the angel to bring to mind that there are no lost causes in the Kingdom of God. I need to remember that. I think about the state of our world where often we don’t see the Kingdom. And sometimes we do. Jesus told us that it is here with us. Philip Yancey in his book, GRACE NOTES, talked about lost-cause times that have changed because Kingdom people prayed and used non-violent means to bring it about. The meditation is from September 23 if you want to reread it or read it for the first time.
The story that most caught my attention, although all of them are wonderful, was this, “The Cold War, says former senator Sam Nunn, ended ‘not in a nuclear inferno, but in a blaze of candles in the churches of Eastern Europe.’ Candlelight processions in East Germany did not show up well on the evening news, but they helped change the face of the globe. First a few hundred, then a thousand, then the entire population of the city—turned out in Leipzig for candlelight vigils. After a prayer meeting at St. Nikolai Church, the peacful protestors would march through the dark streets, singing hymns. Police and soldiers with all their weapons seemed powerless against such a force.
“Ultimately, on a night a similar march in East Berlin attracted one million protestors, the hated Berlin Wall came tumbling down without a shot being fired. A huge banner appeared across a Leipzig street:…..(We thank you Church.).” Wow!!
We aren’t all called to be marching protesters, but we in the Kingdom are all called to pray and to take the Light of Christ (our Candles) into our streets where ever we are. Because there are no lost causes in the Kingdom of God and God changes things. Second Son gave me a picture of a small girl with a tiny bird sitting on her hand. It hangs in my bedroom and helps to remind me of this.
Shine on, dear ones,