During this Lenten season, I have experienced a great sense of gratitude. Gratitude is not always a word associated with Lent. And yet, here it is. I write on my clay pot with a sharpie and name those barriers I have placed between myself and God (and if you see it on my desk, you will notice I write over words, so visitors can’t read what I have written – hmmm.) Those words float by or stay a while in my times of struggle and worry. I write them and truly try to leave them there, though they do find a way of reappearing even when I cover them up.
This season Gratitude has come in so many forms. The practice of writing on the pot- it has made me name things, I would like to ignore. Gratitude for the thoughtful and deep reflection Margie Lawrence, Tony Lilburn and Guy Sawyer gave to our Lenten discussion around how to be a place and people of true respectful, listening and caring conversation on the most challenging topics of our time. The hunger of persons in our community to live, not through Facebook sound bytes and impersonal commentary, but to listen, to learn, to know and to respect people with various experiences and perspectives.
Gratitude for Don and Rob’s work in finding guest speakers for our Wednesday programs and Tim Malone for sharing his enthusiasm for reading the Gospel of John. Opening our eyes to new ways of understanding everything from refugees to scripture to music to Lent itself.
Gratitude for our delicious meal providers who have explored new recipes and ingredients to accommodate our Whole 30 participants and our good folk who have brought cookies and crackers for the rest of us! (And for those who have been patient with all this food conversation.)
Gratitude for those who have provided support and care for families who in the midst of grief and loss. Gratitude for the trust of couples, whose individual connections to South Hills are very different, who have come to us for faithful guidance, counsel and blessing as they begin their life together in marriage.
Gratitude for celebrations shared like Eagle Scout honors and anniversaries and new life.
Gratitude for a community that seeks to live as witnesses to God’s grace and transforming power present in our world.
Grace and Peace,