I am becoming accustomed to Zoom Church. I have attended 5 weeks in a row. Borrowing a baseball analogy…I customarily bat 500. When I see the faces of my fellow church goers…I am filled with love and appreciation for them. I think that I have renewed appreciation…during our time of pandemic. Pastor Kerry, is simply, preaching some of the most comforting and timely sermons that it has been my privilege to hear in many years. And, I have been listening to sermons for 51 years! As Carlyn sang, my favorite song, Amazing Grace, I looked at the azure blue sky that contained the most lovely fluffy white clouds…moving past the panoramic view from my porch. It seems that during our fearful time, I am noticing the beauty in everything that I see. I meditate on the fact that there will be a day that these old eyes will not behold the natural majesty that I can witness on a daily basis…during the best of times…and during the worse of times. I am overwhelmed with the splendor of my earthly surroundings…to the extent that I wonder how what I am experiencing…could be real.
When I see MJ, or Aaron, or Jonathon…I wonder how a poor boy like me…came out so blessed to be a member of this family? When I feel their daily care and see the love in their eyes…I am humbled…and honored.
When I witness the poor helping the poor…I am ashamed that I have not done more. When I witness the powerful demonstrate humility…I know that God is real…
I first became a member of a faith community in 1969. I was 12 years old…but I thought that I was 22. I rapidly developed a church full of friends. The minister was very kind to me, as was his wife. They loved and appreciated me…though I had nothing to give…but me. Through the past 51 years I have remained a christian and continued in fellowship with other, fallible human beings, who are seeking to help their fellow travelers on the way back to Jerusalem, and fulfill Christ’s teachings. I told my replacement, as superintendent of Building Services, shortly before my retirement…that my management philosophy had been to be merciful and if I erred…to err on the side of mercy. My leadership construct had been…to follow Jesus example.
I have been reminiscing about our friend, who graciously and lovingly brought meals to our family after MJ had spinal surgery…last year…in December. She reassured us and spoke kind words of healing to MJ regarding her recovery. Now, she has experienced the most devastating of losses, her beloved husband. It is good to have friends on the rocky road of life.
Life brings us bitter tears…and warm smiles. Life brings us abject darkness…and brilliant sunlight. Life brings us paralyzing worry…and jarring joy.
Everything is being written down. I believe that God has a book of our life…from the first cry, as a newborn baby…to the last prayerful breath…as we return to him. Our Creator is in control…we are passengers in the vehicle of life. He knows the end prior to the beginning. Angels are by our side….
Some of my best friends are gay. Many of the kindest people in my life have been African Americans. My, metaphorically adopted son, Alfie, is an African American Muslim. I have many friends who love and admire President Trump. I want all of these people in my life. I cannot afford to marginalize anyone. God created us all…and it will not be long until we meet our Creator… All of them have held my hand…and spoken words of encouragement to me…and I have their love and appreciation. I have eaten dinner in their homes, and worshipped alongside them, and known their sufferings and trials and doubts and confusion…and their humanity. All are important…we are one family…with one creator…understanding is essential….Communication is vital….Love is the answer….Before the darkness….