Yesterday, the Southeast Church added 4 additional elders, bringing the total to 18.
The purpose for more elders is to have more shepherds to care for a flock of 1,100 sheep. Does it seem like 18 will be enough?
The service was beautiful. Prayers were led for the new elders and their spouses and families. Each new elder received a shepherd’s staff and a servant’s towel. Two reminders that they have been called to serve the needs of the flock.
Throughout the morning, as we appointed the new shepherds in both services, I was approached by people, one at a time, asking for prayers.
- The First Request: a member told me she is taking in a family in need who will live in her home for some time. The request was that God’s peace, calm and understanding would fill their hearts in the days and months to come.
- The Second Request: a member came asking prayers for another family who is experiencing some difficult challenges. Their situation is known to me, I’m aware of what is happening. It’s hard and sad and needs prayer.
- The Third Request: a member shared that her spouse has been diagnosed with a rare and incurable disorder causing severe pain that will never go away.
The prayer was written on a folded piece of paper and the request was that I place it in the Wailing Wall of Jerusalem, also known as the Western Wall of the Temple. She knew I was leaving for the Holy Land this week.
I have stood and prayed there on several occasions. It’s a humbling place to pray, and if our feelings and emotions matter to God, and they do, then our Lord gives much attention to the prayers rising from the Wailing Wall.
I will place her prayer between two of the ancient limestone blocks along with thousands of others. We both know her prayer isn’t any more powerful in Jerusalem than it is in Houston. But I understand why she asked. I’ve left a few prayers of my own in that wall.
On a day when big things were happening, a day of anointing new elders, a day that made our church stronger, there were also small things happening, things that went unnoticed, things very private.
However, I suppose in the Kingdom of God, there really aren’t any small things.