by Ken Rolheiser
Welcoming Angels and Being Disciples

A leper puffs away on a cigarette in a halo of smoke. The singing is terrible, but Evangelist Hudson Miller hears beautiful music. Thirty-five lepers join them this Sabbath to praise God. Unseen angels surround the group.

“I can’t wait for that day when we will be in heaven. There will be no more pain, no more tears, …no more leprosy,” Hudson says. Until then, this gathering is a taste of heaven. (from Welcoming Unseen Angels, Hudson Miller).

Our call is to be disciples. What are we supposed to do? It is simply about our relationship with the Lord and sharing our story with others. And we have the Holy Spirit to help us. Can it get any easier?

St Teresa of India said, “I am a little pencil in God’s hands.” He does the writing. Sometimes the pencil needs sharpening or gets broken, but the Spirit brings us back. We can trust God to break in and move us forward when we get stuck.

I remember a discussion with my older brother, a fellow teacher who has since been called home by the Lord. He argued for the small group of students where you can influence one or a few. I argued for the larger classes where you can impact the lives of many at one time.

I had not yet learned about spiritual multiplication. You influence one person who impacts the lives of many. The echo goes on and on, from soul to soul, and grows forever. (Tennyson). We will not know the end of this story until we reach heaven.

We don’t always consider ourselves to be disciples. We make ready excuses because we are sinners. But then we consider Peter’s story in John 21:1-19. Jesus does not scold Peter for his betrayals. He simple asks three times, “Do you love me?” Then “Feed my sheep.” Peter eventually gets it.

Our humility will help us accept that we too are qualified to be disciples. Our weaknesses are the very things that will let us shine as examples and highlight our life’s story.

Picture the stained-glass window. Artisans use impurities like metallic salts to produce the rich colours. Sunlight illumines those very stains to produce inspiring images to lift the soul and bring heaven before our eyes.

God’s grace becomes us. It will help make a witness of us in many simple ways. Sometimes we do not need to say anything. Just be! Be a sign others can see. Our lives touch and teach with God’s help.

St Teresa of Calcutta said, “If a book brought one soul closer to God, it was worth all of the heartache that went into it.” I have published books that have not been run-away sellers. But I trust God to use that word to work and do its job. I may not even be around to see when that will happen, but God will.

I thank God for a couple of books that have sold out, but my job is to keep plugging away even when I can’t see publishers lining up for my product.

Nothing disqualifies us from being disciples. “Feed my lambs. Feed my sheep!” “Do you want to do something beautiful for God? There is a person who needs you. This is your chance.” (St Teresa of India).

“Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it … You are greater than you know.” (St Teresa of India).

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