Advent devotion: New perspective

News | December 21, 2015

I have been on several mission trips in recent years. Each evening we gather as a group to reflect on the day’s activities. Why a time for reflection? We are in an unfamiliar area, with people we may not know, doing things we didn’t know we could do. The reflection time is a time of sharing, a time of supporting one another, a time to express multiple views, a time to listen. The discussions center around faith-related questions. For me, the personal and the group reflection time provide an opportunity to grow in my faith journey. I get out of my comfort zone, question my current beliefs and values, and see the world from a new perspective. 

This fall I was part of a team that worked on making a trailer house more accessible for a widow in her mid-50s who uses a wheelchair. We did our best to not only get a lot of work done in the trailer, but to also connect with her. During the week she referred to our team as her family, something I will never forget. Lunch time on her small porch was filled with her smile and stories about her many adventures in her wheelchair. I will treasure that week in Oceana, West Virginia, for a long time.

I wonder what it was like for Mary that blessed night when she and Joseph were far from home with a new baby? What were ‘the things she treasured up and pondered in her heart’ (Luke 2:19)?  Did she hear God talking to her that night? Did she sense what her life story would be going forward? What about us? What things do we take time to treasure and ponder in our hearts?

Jim Keller is a retired engineer. He and Vicki live in Bettendorf.

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