Epistle #46: “Let it go”

Let it Go

Our youngest granddaughter struggled at an early age to find her voice… literally. As an infant she suffered from shaken baby syndrome. She entered our lives from an intensive care unit of a hospital, where our adult children would go and hold her, feed her.  She was nurtured back to health and later adopted into our family. It became evident early on that she was slow to develop language skills.  At age two she still only spoke on rare occasions. One afternoon we were all together watching a Disney movie when much to everyone’s astonishment she burst into song. She sang clearly and on pitch…”let it go…let it go…let it go…” I knew the event was monumental and managed to capture it on video. I revisit that miracle moment often because I know it was an answer to prayer. We witnessed an act of God’s compassion and at the same time I heard his instruction in her sweet little voice.

“Let it go…”

Fast forward five years to March 2020. We were on our way out of state to visit our son when we received the news that the Federal Prison Camp where he is serving time had been locked down. No visitors allowed. This was, as they say, a hard pill to swallow, because these visits with family are life-giving for him. Its during those visits when we physically sit together that he can hear and see that he is loved, forgiven, restored. The hugs, the connection to family, the stories of everyday life reassure him, sustain him and give him hope for a future. We turned the car around and with heavy hearts began the drive home. How would he manage? Who would be Jesus’ hands and heart to him during

lock down?

I hang on to offenses. I’m ashamed to admit it, but it’s true. I watch my husband process things and let go quickly. Not me. I keep them in case I need them. Even as I say that I realize how silly it sounds. Who needs a box full of stinky old offenses? I asked the Holy Spirit to transform that ugly place in me. He was quick to answer. I’ve spent the better part of this quarantine on my knees letting go and receiving forgiveness. Holy Spirit and I cleaned house. Now I understand better how to do that daily and how not doing so dulls my spiritual hearing. I could sense the power that was now available. I knew God was listening to my prayers.  In the days that followed our aborted trip I was quick to let go of things that offended me. I prayed more than usual, I studied more and found ways to give to people who couldn’t give back. Mark and I made our prayer time together a priority. We kept asking God to send someone to comfort our son, but expanded our prayers to include community and all those who are suffering from isolation and sickness during this pandemic.

A short time later we had a call from a family member who asked how to get in touch with our son. This person had been hurt by our son. Now they wanted to be reconciled. We are still rejoicing. God answered our prayers in a way we couldn’t have imagined. The “letting go” and being reconciled is now multiplying.

I believe that’s God’s call to the church. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says,

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and fave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal though us.”

As we prepare our heart’s for the message of Pentecost, I hope you’ll join me in pondering what it means to be “Christ’s ambassadors” now. I already see it being lived out in community outreach efforts initiated by many of you, in the encouragement shared through the Epistles to St Paul, in visits to those who are shut-in.   What else can we do to share this message of hope with our families, with each other and with our community?

Mark and Brenda Hollingsworth



Church office phone: 515-462-4270
Church office email: StPaulLutheranChurch@hotmail.com
Pastor Brian Mortenson email: StPaulPastor1941@gmail.com
Pastoral Emergencies: 605-351-0867