Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor except in their own country and in their own house.”
“I’ll never fit in,” I thought.
For a first-time visitor, it can be such a long and fearful walk across the North Bridge to the Sanctuary. We all arrive at PVUMC with a unique backstory and individual needs and hopes we seek to fill, perhaps even discover. For me, an unexpected end to a relationship just weeks earlier had created a gaping hole in my heart. And beyond that, I realized there was an even bigger hole in my life that I had no idea how to fill.
I crossed the bridge alone and anxious, my mind racing with doubt and fear: “I didn’t grow up with church. I’ve never belonged to a church. I don’t know what’s expected of me or what I’m supposed to do. No one is going to talk to me and no one will like me.” And on and on the voices went, somehow managing to be louder than the pounding of my heart. I knew this was something I needed to do, but it was the third church I’d visited, and I was sure this one wouldn’t be the right fit, either. After all, it was in Paradise Valley. How would I ever fit in here?
Just as people didn’t expect to see or hear all they did from a simple carpenter who came from Nazareth, I certainly didn’t expect, nor could I have ever imagined, all the acceptance, friendship and love the PVUMC community has brought to my life. Out of unexpected pain, God has brought countless unexpected blessings.
The North Bridge is so much more than a physical walkway. It is a tangible symbol of hope, a lifeline for God’s love that we bring to the world with our hands, our feet and our hearts. How can you be an unexpected blessing to someone else today?Kim Levensky
Prayer: Gracious and loving God, Thank You for meeting us wherever we are. Open our eyes to see all the unexpected ways in which You bless us. Open our hearts and free our hands of all that keeps us from bringing Your light and love to others. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.