Faith: I have you covered!
Mid-summer I had the opportunity to do a funeral for a policeman. I have not known a policeman personally. I have heard stories of the camaraderie that exists and the family connections formed surrounding this kind of work.
I always love when God plunks me into new situations to explore ways to proclaim His love. The funeral for Bill Alderson was no exception. It was new to me to have all the uniforms, the formality of salutes and bagpipes. The men posted near the coffin before the service lent a new insight into how we honor each other even in the midst of a world wracked by division or lawlessness.
At the same time I was preparing for the funeral, I was thinking about the church's kickoff to fall. What did I want to say to people about being one body, about working together and serving together? Then God gave me an insight.
I had been working with the text from 1 Peter 2:4-5: As you come to him, the living Stone - rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him - you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."
What does it look like to be a living stone? I know Peter is not talking about a building. He is talking about people and their lives. How do believers build a foundation that is worthy of the foundation Christ lays for our lives?
Well, picture this: Before the start of the funeral service, we gather to pray with the family. I went to the gathering room to wait for their arrival. Two Cass County deputies were also waiting. We stood, the three of us, shoulder to shoulder.
After a little small talk, there was a moment of quiet. The deputy at my left shoulder looked down at me (he was tall!) and simply said, "I got you covered!" I returned his gaze and said, "And I have you covered!" We both chuckled.
There it is. Living stones stand shoulder to shoulder and say, 'I have you covered!" It carries the message that I stand beside you and I have your back when you are in trouble. I will not be too busy or too preoccupied. To get to you, they have to go through me! You don't have to be a certain color or believe exactly as I do. I am there to protect and to build you up rather than tear you down.
As our faith community stood shoulder to shoulder with the law, it was a coverage strengthened in our Lord. "I have you covered in prayer! I know the one who will bring you through grief and loss and promises joy to replace sorrow with dancing!"
Don't we hunger for more of that type of thinking?