Duty called but I resisted. Finally, I gave in, headed to the garage to sort through some boxes. The garage needed to be cleared for its original purpose, a place to park a car in winter. Lily’s. Mine prefers the outdoors. Truthfully, I never gave it a choice. So, since ice coated the deck table this morning, I figured winter’s sending hints. Besides, the folding table in the garage, which I use for sorting, must come home. I need it for extra seating at Thanksgiving. The squeeze is on.
As for duty calling, most of the time I answer. But when it comes to paperwork or tending sentimental stuff, I resist because I remember. I get stuck sometimes when sorting. A few lines from an old letter, a photo or, in this case, a small glass jar, captures my attention. I get distracted.
Well, it was a familiar Gerber baby food jar. Blue lid and all. It was tucked in a box of Mama’s cards, letters, and stuff ‘n’ such. I thought all those boxes were emptied long ago. But I keep learning that people, stuff, and memories show up for a reason. Like this jar, a reminder I come from a long line of menders.
Mama darned socks,too. This baby food jar held buttons, pins, a thimble and memories. I rarely mend, anymore. Now and then I still secure a button or tack up a hem. Mending takes time. It also extends life to garments, socks and, even better, relationships.
Take, for example, the mid-term election. It feels like some mending’s happening. Or as David Brooks wrote, “the fever broke.” Time will tell. But it seems like the scales are tipping towards middle ground, a place for more civil conversations and respectful behavior. We need mending in our families, churches and country. The Bible says there’s, ” a time to mend…” ( from Ecclesiastes 3:7, NLT) And probably because I live in New England, Robert Frost’s Mending Wall, came to mind.
It’s not hard to picture Frost walking with his neighbor in springtime, surveying winter’s damage to stone walls. Probably the most memorable line is from the neighbor. “Good fences make good neighbors.”
But I prefer Frost’s musing.
“Before I build a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense,
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.”
Well, there’s plenty to tend, mend and tear down. But we’re in Good hands. We come from a long line of holy menders. All the way back to Genesis when God made garments for Adam and Eve. God ‘s still loving, tending and mending. So take courage and a deep breath of hope.
After all, Thanksgiving’s just around the corner. Perfect timing. One special day to focus on all we have, not what we lack. An opportunity to mend our ways with family and friends. And to be Grace, not just say a grace.
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