I can't remember the first time that I heard or read this passage of scripture, but I do remember back in 1990, as I applied to Unity School of Religious Studies for their Ministerial Education Program, how those words came to me over and over as I interviewed with different people.
Over the years, this passage has come to me in times of need, anguish, uncertainty, and fear. The assurance of God's guidance essentially accessible to me at every moment brings me great steadiness and confidence in moving forward.
My husband Rev. Richard Talley, also a Unity minister, and I were visiting our friend and former protoge Rev. Lynn Batchellor in Santa Fe, when suddenly in the middle of the night I heard a crash. It sounded as if it came from the hall and so I opened the bedroom door and rushed out, only to find Richard completely stretched out on the tile floor. I screamed and began to yell at him, "What are you doing?" As he came to and began to sit up, we called 911.
I admit it--although I am usually the one who remains calm and sensible during crises--in this instance I was fraught with fear and overwhelmed with the thought that this could be our last moments together. By the time the paramedics arrived, I, too, was feeling woozy, and they threatened to put me on a gurney, too, as they loaded Richard aboard the ambulance. Instead I opted to ride up front with the driver since they wouldn't let me stay in the back with Richard.
I had always imagined that an ambulance raced to the hospital--not so. The driver drove slowly and cautiously, avoiding bumps and sudden stops. He didn't race or run through any lights and there was no siren screaming. It was so quiet that I could hear the words of his partner further examining Richard in the rear.
During this quiet ride, I centered myself and let God calm me down. The Holy Spirit slowed my breathing and cleared my head as we headed towards the hospital. By the time we arrived at the Emergency Department, I was relaxed and realized God was in control. I gladly transferred my tension and fear to the doctors and nurses on duty and rested in my trust in God. I realized that of myself I could do nothing, but that through God everything good would be accomplished. I was even joking with the young-looking intern and the nurse practitioner.
Richard, it turned out, had nothing serious going on, but rather had probably reacted to a series of circumstances that resulted in his passing out. There was no damage to his head, which I had feared when I saw he had hit it con the tile floor. All he had to show for the event was a crease along his shoulder where he had slid along the door frame as he fell. It's still there today. Sometimes I touch it and remember how my trust in God overcame my fear.
I'm sure most people of faith have had moments when they faced a crisis and for a short time they felt abandoned by God or at least not in touch. Sometimes it takes a quiet ride and a visual touchstone to remind of God's presence always in all ways.
Blissings, My Beloveds,
P.S. Here is Richard and I just last month, and I think he's looking great! Looking fine!