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11 June 2024

For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

Isaiah 54:10

[From “Footprints” by Gene Groner, Jul/Aug 2020 Herald, p. 39]

Growing up without a father wasn’t easy for me, but it was even harder for my mother, who was faced with raising three sons by herself.

I learned early to help by throwing newspapers, shining shoes, and selling door-to-door. I worked in the hayfields and cornfields. I became self-reliant at an early age, quickly learning to depend mainly on myself.

As soon as I graduated from high school, I joined the US Marine Corps. There I learned about teamwork and the need to depend on others. They counted on me, and I counted on them. To survive and fulfill our missions, we needed each other.

After my tour in the Marines, I married, and we soon had five wonderful children. My family learned it could depend on me to provide care and a good living.

It was during those early years that I first read the beautiful poem “Footprints in the Sand.” Looking over my life I realize I have never been alone. God has always been with me, carrying me through difficult times when my own strength and self-reliance weren’t enough. I also needed my family and all the other people who have helped me when I needed strength and support.

I give thanks to them all, especially in my later years when self-reliance just isn’t enough. The truth is that we all need each other. God made us that way. We need others for love and fellowship, spiritual, emotional, and material support.

In my life I’ve seen many “footprints.” Thank you, God, for a lifetime of blessings and for my family and friends who have walked beside me.

Prayer Phrase

“We, who are many, are one body in Christ” (Romans 12:5).

Spiritual Practice

Spiritual Learning

Meditate on a time when you learned about community from someone who took you in, fed you, taught you, shared stories and wisdom with you. What did you learn? Prayerfully create a list of qualities you need to learn from spiritual mentors and friends. Then write the names of people who serve as teachers, models, coaches, or encouragers in your life as a disciple. Offer a prayer of gratitude and blessing for these spiritual “relatives” and friends.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.


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