“... Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil ...”
As Rosa recited the words of the Lord’s Prayer, she got stuck there.
“... but deliver us from evil...”
Her mind went back to last week, when she’d traveled back to the reservation for her great grandmother’s funeral. She’d gone out to see great gram’s hogan (house) one last time — and found only ashes and burned out rubble.
Rosa’s uncle Joe had found her there, crying by the hogan. “My daughter,” he’d put his arm around her, “What did you expect? You know tradition. They didn’t get her outside fast enough. The hogan had to be destroyed. You know that.”
She remembered. If they hadn’t burned the hogan, then anything evil from her great grandmother’s life would come back there — with other evil spirits. The hogan Rosa remembered as such a wonderful home full of great gram’s love would have been transformed into a house of evil.
She shuddered at that thought. Uncle Joe hugged her.
“Let’s go back to Hosteen Begay’s place. That’s where everyone’s gathering,” he said as he turned her away from the sight of the ruined hogan.
As they walked, Rosa thought — about the evil she’d recently cleaned out of her own life. She’d not been intentional about filling the empty places with good things, and now that evil kept threatening to come back — even worse than before.
Her mind came back to the present, to the church where she sat in the middle of her congregation, and she finished the prayer in a whisper “... for Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.”
As Rosa drove home from church that day, she thought about the mistake she’d come so close to making last night. That drug cabinet had looked SO tempting. That familiar voice in her mind told her, No one would know. As the overnight nursing supervisor in the intensive care unit, they trusted her.
How surprised they’d be if they found out that her recent three week “vacation” had been spent at a drug rehab facility for medical professionals.
What can we learn from Rosa’s struggle? We’re human, far from perfect, and in continual need of God’s grace, forgiveness and transformation.
We need to continually participate in our relationship with God, living out of and into the incredible gift of Jesus.
We need to WWJD (Walk With Jesus Daily), filling all the empty spaces left when we ‘clean house’ in our lives with Christ’s presence and power. I’m working on it every day, strengthened by being part of a strong Christian community, prayer and Scripture reading. How about you?