Jesus – “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full!” (John 10:10, NIV)
Today is going to be a wonderful day! I guess that’s always more than a possibility – especially considering what I believe about this Great Adventure that is “abundant life”; or, as Eugene Peterson paraphrases John 10:10, “Real and eternal life, more and better life than [we] ever dreamed of.”
But I’m especially looking forward to today because it’s all about thinking, and praying, and creativity, and writing, and preparation: I’ll be doing the final outline for the retreat I’m leading, and Rebekah is writing tomorrow morning’s sermon.
So for this morning’s post I’m simply going to share a series of photos that tell some of the story of this busy week.
Wednesdays Together: Sadly, Wednesday night was our last church supper before the summer hiatus. My men’s Bible-study will continue, as well as many other mid-week groups and activities. I’m going to miss sitting with random friends, watching families meet up at church on their way home from work, seeing tired, tense people relax and receive nourishment – both physical and spiritual.
So our amazing director of food ministries – Mandy – was appropriately recognized and applauded, along with her wonderful staff of volunteers. She really does produce miracles in the kitchen, and her ministry helps facilitate a midweek charge of life that I’m going to miss like crazy over the next few months.
Herbs and Flavor: Out on the deck, my herb garden has responded beautifully to this week’s abundant rain, warmth, and sunshine, and I have a generous ongoing crop to enjoy with every possible variety of meal.
Having it all in pots right outside the back door makes it the perfect kitchen garden. Of course planning ahead is best, but sometimes I think about a sprig of sage, a handful of basil leaves, or some finely chopped thyme right in the middle of food preparation, and all I have to do is walk outside.
Fresh makes a huge difference; I am richly blessed with goodness right at my fingertips!
RDU, MSP, Memorials, and Eternal Rest: Finally, Rebekah took a quick overnight trip to Minnesota, heading a couple of hours north of Minneapolis to be part of our friend Sandee’s funeral service. Graveside was around 30-degrees, she said, with a few snow flurries thrown in. Evidently this was Sandee’s last joke via her wry sense of humor: getting all her former Florida friends together one last time and then freezing their tails off.
That afternoon, at the Foley Presbyterian Church, Rebekah voiced some powerful words that I’m going to ask her to let me share in a post next week.
I always enjoy going to the airport, watching people come and go, sipping coffee in the Starbucks at “The Meeting Place”, witnessing reunions and goodbyes, the sense of exotic destinations wafting through the space like an invitation.
Rebekah returned home very tired but with an important sense of closure. It doesn’t matter who you are – preacher, disciple, “spiritual but not religious”, confused, agnostic – the passing of a loved one engages an instinct for the eternal that naturally wants to hone in on something more than the limitations of our understanding, our logic, our experience, even our hopes and dreams.
It’s always good to be home, and our friend Sandee is there now in a way that we can only imagine – DEREK