Debbie at Artful Aspirations gave me permission to print one of her photographs. You may have seen the smaller picture of what I did with it, on my sidebar. The light coming through the church windows reminded me of a post I wrote a couple of years ago. I'd thought I'd share the words again.
I welcome you to this little church in the country. Wear your favorite casual clothes, plan on finding someone here who looks at you with love and motions you to come sit by them. Smell the coffee brewing and be assured that someone made your favorite ginger snaps and filled the creamer with real half and half. Be prepared when someone who loves you comes up behind you and rubs your shoulders, humanly trying to soothe your cares away. Look within the tattered song book and find that your favorite joyful songs are marked and if you want to, you are welcome to remain seated while we sing, finding your holy moment as you hear the songs of praise. Look around you and notice accepting hearts and spirits. Collect smiles. Do you see Grandma Eloise to the left, knitting on her lap, blissful expression of thankfulness on her soft, lined face? She prayed for you on Tuesday when the Lord brought you to mind. In front of her is Tom. He was up with the birds, fishing in the creek, when the Holy Spirit visited his heart and drew him here, where people try to love. And the pastor, he's got a scruffy beard and wears a soft flannel shirt. His eyes crinkle as he lifts a child up to light a candle. He prayed for you, too. He prayed for you on his morning walk as he fingered his tattered Moleskine notebook, always in his pocket, at the ready to document his thoughts and concerns for this diverse little group of Jesus followers. Jane, the mother of five children and wife of the country doctor, slides in next to you. "Can you join us for lunch after the service? The children have been asking after you. We're having tuna sandwiches, fruit salad and brownies. Does that sound good?" She reaches for your hand, gives it a soft and welcoming squeeze, and quietly returns to her row of well-loved offspring. The gentle tinkle of the old piano fills the air, everyone in attendance scoots together, closer to the aisle, faces expectantly looking at the cross on the wall, knowing and feeling the mercy bestowed upon them, recognizing that they are home. YOU are one of them.
Isn't that just as the Body of Christ can be? People leaning in. People bravely giving the most vulnerable pieces of their souls to each other. Amen.
I am home from my delightful time with three of my precious ones. I have a really sore throat so I am going to stay quiet today. I have a lot of teacher thinking and reading I should do.
I've been knitting with New Zealand yarn, using this book. It's rhythmic and soothing; circular needles (wooden) click, click, clicking with good wool from my favorite animal. Oh, I do love sheep.
My Kelli is a gift giver. She found this lovely Mexican pottery and brought it home in her suitcase. Isn't it warm, bright, and inviting?
Poor Ann. She's waiting around for her apron and her bloomers. She is looking forward to meeting Johanna, her new little girl. I'll take pictures when Ann is decked out in her new outfit and ready to fly to Washington.
Yesterday after dinner, we were sitting outside on Kelli's porch, waiting for Uncle Joe to bring Mommy and Daddy home. As I held Millie Rose, she kept looking up at me, smiling and nuzzling. Isn't that what we do? We look up and express our desire to be loved. And we are greatly loved. Oh, that we would unabashedly seek love instead of approval. Babies do it. Babies are smart.
Peace to you, friend.