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Open your hand - Pastor's Pen for 10th Sept 2023

A couple of times in the last week or so I've rescued an earthworm from the church

driveway. Yesterday's lucky worm was a big juicy looking one and I deposited it under the shelter of broccoli leaves in the vege patch. This to me seemed preferable to the relatively vast expanse of asphalt, but who knows the mind of a worm? Worms can sense light and vibrations, but they have no eyes or ears. Did the worm know of it's dire predicament, and slim chance of survival on the driveway? I doubt it. Perhaps it was escaping the saturated ground and took a wrong turn? When I opened my hand and picked it up, it squirmed as if in panic, but seemed to relax when no immediate harm ensued.

I guess we can feel like the worm God rescued from the inhospitable asphalt of life. We think we are clever and making good life choices, but at times we take a wrong turn and need to experience grace, the intervention of God. The Psalmist proclaims;

"The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.

The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing." (Ps 145: 13-16 NIV)

Of course there are situations where we really question the intervention of God, asking; 'Where were you Lord when I needed you? Why has this happened to me?' These are legitimate concerns and provided fuel for our prayers. Yet overall we sense that the trajectory of scripture and our faith journey shows God's intervention by grace.

Just as I took the time to rescue the worm, perhaps this week the Holy Spirit can prompt any of us to be the one who intervenes in in the life of another who has need, a struggling friend or someone we meet in the course of our day who has taken a wrong turn. We can be the open hand of Jesus to another as we ourselves have received God's intervening grace in Jesus Christ.

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