Monday, January 13, 2014

Without Words

The first 10 minutes of UP tell a better story than other movies tell in 2 hours.  In 10 minutes we fall in love with a boy-turned-curmudgeon and his adventure-chasing sweetheart.  These minutes aren't without pain.  They aren't without beauty, either.  In 10 wordless minutes we know joy and tears.

At both our Church Council and Deacons' meetings I like to share about the good things going on among us:  Christmas caroling, parades, food and clothing ministries, planning retreats, and more make up my report. We smile because these are tangible markers moving us forward and outward.  When we are tempted to be or feel discouraged, we remember sharing apple cider with the community under the Farmers' Market Pavillion. We remember packing grocery bags full of food for the hungry.  We can touch those moments and remember.

While it is important to celebrate tangible markers, some of the most poignant ways the Spirit is stirring can't be captured on a list.  Most of the time it is simply one being present with another.  Sometimes presence is shared in joy or celebration; other times it is with tears in our eyes.  Sometimes it is painful.  Sometimes it is beautiful. Sometimes it is both.

It is prayer.  It is crying.  It is delivering food.  It is sitting on a hospital bed.  It is stepping out of comfort zones.  It is offering hugs.  It is empowering new folks to lead.  It is sharing a meal.

Sometimes the best stories can't be expressed with words or lists.