I woke up Saturday morning with a. a headache; and b. pastors on my heart. Since I had to lie on my side with a pillow pressed to my throbbing temple, it was a perfect opportunity to pray for all the pastors I could name. Even some I couldn't name, like, "the pastors at the church SK loved so much in Spokane." Praying for Holy Spirit-authority as they wield the word of God, for compassion as they shepherd the sheep, for power to withstand the enemy's attacks, and for wisdom to speak what God gives them to speak, privately and publicly in their role in the Body. And all through the day (a quiet day, even for me!) those men and women kept coming to mind.
We've been with many close pastor friends on Saturdays. And at some point as the clock moves toward evening, the pastor begins to step away, even when he's still sitting among us. His thoughts and heart and spirit press inward to what God intends for the congregation the next morning. Some physically leave us at some point Saturday nights to spend time alone in an empty church. Others rise so long before dawn they might as well not have gone to sleep at all. These are the things the pastors we know do because they do not--cannot--view Saturdays as we do. For them, that day is a preparation day. In other jobs, it would be odd to have one's weekend before the most important hours of the week, but this is the rhythm pastors work.
It just kept weighing on me Saturday. Or I should say, pastors did--both in their work and in their lives. So I couldn't help praying. Sometimes just speaking names and letting the Holy Spirit pray what He would.
On into Sunday, when my head still pounded and my spirit still ached for those who stand in pulpits or teach in Sunday school classes, or sit in hospital rooms with the sick and dying (maybe even some with headaches!).
One might say, therefore, that my head was hurting with pastors all weekend long.
And that such pain pushed me to prayer, which made it a pretty good weekend.
This morning, my head was clear. Very clear.
But I really, really wanted God to put someone or something in my mind for whom I could pray all day. So I didn't move for a few minutes. Then a few minutes more. Tried to summon something, to imagine someone. To picture a face, an idea. These thoughts and imaginings kept drifting away. Finally I had to get up and...
well, you know...
And you know what? Nothing. All day long, nothing. Just the normal stuff, the ordinary thoughts of daily life, with God intertwined in the normal ways. I'm not distracted by anything, I mean. Does this sound crazy?
Because it doesn't to me. To me, it's very strong evidence of His presence in the need to pray for pastors over the weekend. I couldn't manufacture something else this morning, even when I tried. He either speaks or He doesn't. And sometimes His silence is as important as His voice.
Yep, it was a good weekend.
And for pastors, the word He gave me for you was--"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure." Hebrews 6: 19