I had a tough week. Pam's been away in Ohio with the new grandson.  I got the two week hacking cough a few days after she left. I worked on my  plans to be out of the country as soon as she returns. I will miss hearing "Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return" on Ash Wednesday. I  remembered that February 3rd marked 3 years since mom died.

Then the first line of last Sunday's text stopped me in my tracks. It's Jesus' response to his cousin being beheaded by Herod. (Matthew 14:13) He withdrew.

Withdraw. It describes my deep desire last week.

And then I read on. Jesus takes all that nothing and heals and feeds and calms a storm, restoring life and creating community. Sometimes our tough days and moments of nothing are simply the canvas for God's creation of life and abundance.

And I smile at my grandson James Tadashi on FaceTime and remember to trust that God's hands are good hands. Peace, Pastor Mark