Lection Connection - Spirit Sightings

April 21, 2019: Easter Day

From Sandra Rooney


There’s plenty of bad news to go around, violence, broken dreams, seemingly hopeless situations. Just open any newspaper or turn on the TV. But today is a day for joy, for new beginnings, for hope.


There’s a two-year-old girl living in Newton, Massachusetts, at the far end of Islington Road. Samantha Savitz is deaf. Her life has been changed by caring neighbours. It was clear to those who met her that Sam, as she is known, loved people and wanted to be friendly. They in turn wished they could talk to her, to say “hello,” to be her friend.


On their own, these neighbours got together, hired an instructor, and are learning sign language. Their teacher, Rhys McGovern, says this is remarkable because, often, even the parents of deaf children don’t learn sign language. Now Sam is able to talk to anyone who knows sign language. “The first thing she says to us is ‘friend,’” said one neighbour. “It is a beautiful story,” Rhys says, noting that this kind of inclusion will almost certainly guarantee a happier, more well-adjusted Sam.


Then there’s a house in the woods in the middle of Pennsylvania, where music is being played by an unusual band called “The Resilient.” The guitarist, Nate Kalwicki, lost his right leg in Afghanistan; Marcus D’Andrea, bass player, lost both legs, as did lead vocalist Tim Donley. Then there’s Juan Dominguez, who lost both legs and an arm. He’s the group’s drummer, with a special pedal and drum stick. Greg Loman, a professional musician, met the others in their darkest hour, while they were recovering from their wounds and searching for a purpose in life. It was during the men’s recovery, with help from Loman, that they discovered a passion for making music, “and they’ve all gotten so good,” Loman said.


Donley writes the songs he sings. One of his lyrics says, “I want you like I’ve never wanted anything but truth.” Those words are about falling in love with his wife Kelly and coming to grips with his wounds. “We just wear our scars on the outside whereas most people have, you know, they’ve got all their own messed up stuff going on inside…There’s a contentment and kind of like, an excitement to knowing, that, like, I’m where I’m supposed to be,” Donley said.

The group is dedicated and serious about their music. They are working on their first album and have every expectation of becoming better. “There’s something about it, that just, the motivation, the drive, just the soul of it. It doesn’t feel it can go anywhere but up,” Donley said.


Explore…John 20:1–18

  • What words stand out for you in today’s scripture? How are they relevant to you?
  • Where in your community do you see signs of new life?
  • Where do you see God creating new ways of living in the world today?

Prayer links…

Spirit of love and compassion, open our hearts that we might be led both to see and to help bring light where there is darkness and to make possible new ways of living in today’s world. Amen.


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