I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, says the Lord, but rather in his conversion, that he may live.

Have you ever had one of those nights like Samuel did?  This is what I’m referring too…

The LORD called to Samuel, who answered, “Here I am.”

He ran to Eli and said, “Here I am. You called me.” “I did not call you,” Eli answered. “Go back to sleep.” So he went back to sleep.

Again the LORD called Samuel, who rose and went to Eli. “Here I am,” he said. “You called me.” But he answered, “I did not call you, my son. Go back to sleep.”

 Samuel did not yet recognize the LORD, since the word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.

The LORD called Samuel again, for the third time. Getting up and going to Eli, he said, “Here I am. You called me.” Then Eli understood that the LORD was calling the youth.

So he said to Samuel, “Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’” When Samuel went to sleep in his place,

10 the LORD came and stood there, calling out as before: Samuel, Samuel! Samuel answered, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

I had one of those nights tonight.  I fell asleep (with the TV on) about 10 PM last night but had not really been watching TV; we had spent the day with Peter and his children and many of Peter’s friends and his children’s friends, Barb, and the Schumachers. It was truly an emotional afternoon spent remembering Karin and her mother and I was reflecting on all of that and what I should write about Karin this morning.  I retreated into my bed about 11 PM and woke up refreshed and ready to go for some reason around 1 AM.  I thought that was a bit strange because I didn’t feel like it was 1 AM so I went back to sleep only to wake up again “hours” later – 2 AM.  Again, I went back to sleep and woke up again – 3 AM.  That’s when it hit me that maybe it was time to get up and see what God wants me to write about Karin.  In all actuality, He didn’t want me to write anything but I believe He wanted to use me to get a clear message across to everyone about Karin.  I do this with honor because His message to me was rather clear; I can only hope to pass this onto you with the same clarity it came to me.

His message started early yesterday.  Rains had come in the early, early hours of Sunday morning but cleared up and yesterday afternoon was absolutely beautiful.  As the wake ended, a couple of Peter’s close friends invited everyone to a catered dinner at the Ballwin “Country Club”.  So after an emotional afternoon remembering Karin and Ursula, we headed over for dinner.  The room was packed and the food was well prepared and we had all broken into little groups and were just talking about whatever, when Leah (Peter’s oldest daughter) picked up a microphone and thanked everyone for coming.  She then asked her Dad to read a reflection he had written about Karin.  His reflection was absolutely beautiful and there was nary a dry eye in the room.

Almost immediately following Peter’s reflection, I believe the work of God took over the party.  My son-in-law Chris and my daughter Grace made a comment that is was pouring down rain looking out the west side of the room (facing the golf course)…and it was.  But looking out the east side of the room, the sun was still shining brightly.  So a few people headed outside to look at this more closely.  One person, then two, then three and then it seemed like there was a mass exit to go outside.  As I said, soon after Peter talked so eloquently about Karin, God sent His message to the family and there appeared in the sky not one Rainbow but TWO.  The picture posted this morning is from last night at the party following the Wake.

That may have been enough of a message, but our Lord didn’t stop there.  Yesterday afternoon we met a friend of Peter’s who came down from Michigan to be at the wake.  Sarah and I got to talking with him and he got to know Peter through Peter’s speaker business.  He mentioned that he was a musician too and played an acoustic guitar.  He also asked if we had ever heard the song that Keith Green wrote that was based on Psalm 23.  We hadn’t and the conversation went on from there.  Remember that Psalm.

So here I am at 3:55 AM.  I have spent an hour either typing or doing research as the Holy Spirit guides me through this post this morning.  Along with the picture above, God wanted me to  point out the following from Today’s Readings for April 8th – the day we will honor our sisters Karin and Ursula and lay them to rest…first, our Psalm for this morning.

Responsorial Psalm PS 23:1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6

R. (4ab)  Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.
He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.
And then our Gospel…

Gospel JN 8:12-20

Jesus spoke to them again, saying,
“I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.”
So the Pharisees said to him,
“You testify on your own behalf,
so your testimony cannot be verified.”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“Even if I do testify on my own behalf, my testimony can be verified,
because I know where I came from and where I am going.
But you do not know where I come from or where I am going.
You judge by appearances, but I do not judge anyone.
And even if I should judge, my judgment is valid,
because I am not alone,
but it is I and the Father who sent me.
Even in your law it is written
that the testimony of two men can be verified.
I testify on my behalf and so does the Father who sent me.”
So they said to him, “Where is your father?”
Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father.
If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”
He spoke these words
while teaching in the treasury in the temple area.
But no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.
And in honor of our new friend, Ed, I was able to find this to share with you too…
Do something great for our Lord today – follow Him and have that light of life.  Thank Him for bringing Karin and Ursula home.  Thank Him for the love He has for all of us and pray that we one day may share in the eternal peace of His heavenly home.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.

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