Last Sunday my throat was in the final throes of recovering from laryngitis, so I was in church, with a mask on, and not able to sing out loud (but, hey, I sang out loud in my head!)

Because I was quiet, I clearly heard better the many reminders during the service of how God provides for us: Jesus our Friend/Saviour/Lord/Prince of Peace, meeting our daily needs, answering our prayers…. Earlier, Rose’s blog in the weekly bulletin had already reminded me that God often provides for us through relationships as our lives intersect with others. And during the sermon, Alan Stanley shared that sometimes we might have the privilege of knowing such people for a long time, others for a short time, even just a few minutes.

I found myself thanking God for some of the providential relationships in my life. I couldn’t remember the names of some people from years ago. With others, the interaction was so fleeting that I never knew their names, but God used them to pray for me, encourage, remind, rebuke, or show me the next step. Times when I’d been told that I’d been there at providentially the right time for others also came to mind.

In my ‘voice stillness’, I was also very alert to all around me. As I looked at you all there in the church building and saw the names of those on the Zoom call (I had that up on my phone ready to chat with anyone who stayed on after the service), it hit me how blessed we are at Windsor Road to have opportunities to connect right among us. And even more beautifully, how many intergenerational and multicultural connections we have, an advantage of being a smaller, welcoming congregation.

So, as we prepare ourselves once more to hear from the Lord through Alan on Providential Relationships, thank the Lord for your perfect friend, Jesus, and for those people who have been there for you. Look not only to your frontlines but to the Windsor Road family around you and ask the Lord for opportunities to allow others to be your friend, and for you to be an authentic, safe, providential friend to others.

Sue McQuay

A true friend influences, enlivens, and sharpens (Proverbs 27:17)