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Holy Week Devotional - Tuesday April 11 by Neita Geilker


Psalm 71
The NRSV entitles Psalm 71
“a prayer for lifelong protection and help.”

You keep me going when times are tough, my bedrock, God, since my childhood. 6I have hung onto you from the day of my birth, the day you took me from the cradle.
                 Psalm 71:5, 6 (The Message Bible)

40 Days of Decrease, our Lenten reading, encourages us to decrease 40 behaviors for one day each, including stinginess, self protection, and apathy (and food). From my earliest days, God has used others to bless me, folks who needed no such decrease but were already generous, vulnerable, and concerned.

Born on a snow-bound day in a humble shed-like house on a homestead in Montana, I survived with the help of my granny, who took the train from Arkansas to serve as a midwife, melting snow for water before delivering me. Abandoned early by my father, my mother cared sacrificially for my younger sister and me until her death from metastatic breast cancer at age 38, when I was ten.

Mother’s siblings continued to care for us, especially our childless uncle and aunt who took us in, and our Uncle George, who guided us to Calvary Baptist Church in Kansas City and led us to generous Sunday School and Training Union leaders. In high school and college, God continued as my bedrock
and lifelong protection through loving and concerned believers who blessed me with opportunities for education beyond my expectations, and through my marriage to a godly man.

In 1968, Don and I returned to William Jewell where he joined the Physics Department. We found grace both at William Jewell and Second Baptist. Loving concern blessed us through my several medical crises. As I reflect on the saying, “God has no hands but our hands,” I seek ways that I, too,
can be his hands to serve others.

Neita Geilker

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