TGIF June 22, 2018: ...from the forest...

TGIF Friday June 22, 2018

This week’s reflection is coming to you from Coombs Country Campground, and so posting it to the website might be delayed because the Wifi here isn’t entirely reliable!  As I am writing, I am sitting at a picnic table surrounded by trees and good friends (and many children!), breathing deeply the fresh morning air and feeling very grateful.

 

What I am Trusting

This week I am trusting the end of things.  The kids school year is winding down, my long journey into graduate school and through to ordination is complete, and I am preparing for the funeral of long-time St. George’s member Bev Pisto.  The book known as Kohelet in the Jewish tradition, Ecclesiastes in the Christian tradition, tells us that there is a time for everything, a season for every activity under the sun (3:1), and in the newness of Spring, the long days of Summer, not to mention my penchant for optimism, I often fail to slow down enough to fully experience the endings.

There is such beauty in the end.  Whether it is the end of a long era or the end of a life well lived, I can trust that endings are just as precious as beginnings, and often just as tender.  I can recognize the joy and the grief that comes with endings and the opportunities for relationship.

 

What I am Grateful For

I am grateful for long term friendships.  We are camping this weekend with friends that predate our children, predate our marriage…maybe even predate Todd (my spouse) and I knowing one another!  Folks that we have lived life with for years.  Friends that we have run into conflict with and found a way forward with.  Friends that have seen us at our lowest and highest points, and who have also let us see their life struggles and vulnerability.  We have walked through the birth of multiple children and the loss of multiple parents.  Our children have known one another their whole lives.  As I watched their teenager I remembered with tremendous love the way that he used to wear a Spiderman costume everywhere and noticed that the sweetness of his character may have matured but the essence remains.  I see these friends and they see me.  Really see.  This is the stuff of life.  And it is beautiful.

Then...

Then...

...and now.

...and now.

What Inspires Me

The unsung helpers of the world.  The people who show up, again and again, and quietly do their part, adding to the love, the flourishing of the world. The folks who make sure we have coffee after worship, that arrange everything for funerals, who tinker away at things making them all work smoothly, that show up early in the morning to get the coffee and soup on for the Lunch Club (soup kitchen).  The ones who never care for acknowledgement (but we do it anyway when we can) and without whom our churches and communities just couldn’t function.  Thank you to the everyday heroes.

 

How I am Practicing My Faith

Sometimes practicing faith is as simple as existing in the world, in various circles of friends, as a Christian.  This weekend, these same friends and others we were camping with, were asking my perspective on things, as a Christian.  And being able to witness to love – particularly as folks are erroneously using the Bible to justify some horrendous actions – is a faithful, and often courageous act.  If you (yes YOU!) reading this are a person of a faith tradition, I would encourage you to spend some time this weekend, in the weeks ahead, considering and writing out what the secular world calls an “elevator speech”.  15 seconds of why you go to church or why you are a person of faith that you could offer without stumbling or mumbling.  When was the last time you considered this question?