A taste of shalom.

God showed up again today. I was early for a new devotional gathering and watched for the women who said they would be joining me.  None of them came.

(photo taken from Memorial Park, Jacksonville, FL, as a storm rolled in from the west side)

I couldn’t help but notice three women huddled around a nearby picnic table, celebrating the arrival of a box of Krispy Kreme by diving in. I said hello and asked them if they’d like to have a little devotional time. They asked me if I wanted a donut.  I joined them and made a bad joke about our feast being a particularly “holey” communion.

Two more ladies wandered over and, in fairly short order, we entered into a time of prayer.  One woman asked if she could sing – bringing a musical gift that was an answer to prayer for this non-musically gifted priest.

We read from John, about the Samaritan woman at the well. We spoke of living water that can quench the most intense soul-thirst.  And of that deep sense of hunger through which God calls us.  We prayed for one another and for all who hunger and thirst.  Then more song.  And joy.  Not a crazy, emotional, hyped-up joy but a deep sense of the goodness of God, of Love that is everlasting and available to all.


Our discussion of the reading from John called to mind this beautiful psalm of lament from Ann Weems:

Come, Holy One,

feed to me a taste of your shalom.

Come, lift to my lips

a cup of cold water

that I might find my voice

to praise you

here in the pit.

Pull forth the hosannas

from my parched lips,

and I will sing to all

of your everlasting goodness,

for then the world will know that

my God is a God of promise

who comes to me

in my darkness.

–Ann Weems

(a portion of “Lament Psalm one”

from Psalms of Lament, p 4)

About Mother Beth Tjoflat

Episcopal priest, urban contemplative, playwright, lover of hounds, American of Chilean-Norwegian-Moravian descent. Interests include transformational ministry with the forgotten and marginalized; church planting and congregational development; 12-step spirituality; Hispanic ministry; radical hospitality, and spending time with dear friends.
This entry was posted in Christianity, congregational development, Diocese of Florida, faith, peace, small group ministry, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to A taste of shalom.

  1. Robert Askren says:

    Wow! This is real ministry! Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Fr. Bob Askren+


  2. Bob+ says:

    Ya gotta watch out ! God’s liable to show up most any place! Good job going to the highways and byways . . .

  3. Erin says:

    You describe the scene beautifully… I could see it in my mind’s eye. What a tender communion of hearts!

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