Plans cancelled. Schools closed. Blizzard swirling outside the perch, whitewashing the horizon, mocking the groundhog who announced an early loosening of winter’s grip. Not so fast, furry one.
Today’s a hunker down day to read, write and maybe work on taxes. On second thought, why create a mental and paper blizzard.
This morning I sat down for a substantial breakfast with Bible, Boston Globe, glasses, vitamins and one Advil to feed my shoulder. Good to sit. Ready to pray, eat and enjoy some routine.
Who said,”Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff”?
Probably the same one who remembered, “It’s All Small Stuff.”
Like forks and please and thank you and I’m sorry and my neighbor, Beth, who cleaned off my car and shoveled around so I’d be safe. Actually, that was big stuff after last Friday’s storm.
I love Church. Real Church like yesterday at Christ Church. This month our focus is on World Relief, a wonderful organization that dispenses relief efforts through local churches at home and around the world. Ryan McDonnell, Gordon alum and member of our parish, told of the work that’s being done with newly arrived refugees in Jacksonville, Florida. My heart hurt when Ryan said, “many refugees arriving in Northern Florida have experienced strong anti-refugee sentiment from the community.”
Sad not shocked. We only need pay slight attention to political rhetoric, the news or listen to ourselves sometimes to know that feelings run strong against people who are different or who we fear threaten our way of life.
So, yesterday I got to be a kid again at Church. During coffee hour, Ryan set up a table with all kinds of supplies so we could make Valentines for the refugees. Something to send along with other gifts to help them know that some frozen New Englanders carry a warm place in their heart for them. They’re not forgotten.
Fun creating something with scissors, glue, markers, lace doilies and construction paper. Trying to think up meaningful words to send to folks who suffer and feel unwelcome? Not so fun.
Years ago Jud and I began the practice of reading Christmas cards in January and praying for each of the names who’d taken time to send a card, photo, long letter or personal note. All mattered. I still love doing that. It stretches Christmas and strengthens connections between friends and family.
Today I prayed for the Valentines, that God’s love and welcome would accompany our best attempts at creativity with paper and words.
Thank you, Beth, Ryan, World Relief and The Church.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23 The heart, a bountiful resource from which small or large good can flow. Small, like forks… or large, like forks in the road marked Choices.
Sometimes, against all rational thought and prejudice, the heart leaps to love and welcome.
Hearts like yours and mine.
Stranger things have happened.
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