Monday, October 08, 2007

Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving and this weekend we focus on the things we are grateful for. Many families will or already have had a dinner with turkey and all of the fixings. At a lot of those tables there will be a tradition of going around and asking people what they are thankful for. I always have a struggle with that tradition. I have trouble boiling down what I am grateful to just one or two sentences. Often I have to tell stories to explain why I am thankful. Who really wants to sit and listen to me talk for 5 minutes about why I am thankful when there is turkey on the table?

Yesterday I started out feeling weary and tired. I was blessed by a gathering at church that was fun but also a teaching that met me exactly where I was at. I entered the gathering feeling alone and left feeling abundantly blessed. To say that I am grateful for friends would not begin to express the things in my life that I am grateful for.

Seven years ago I walked through the world feeling disconnected. I wasn’t without friends – I had some very close ones. Yet there is a difference between having friends and feeling connected. When you are connected those around you share your burdens and joy and you share theirs.

At our gathering this year I was reminded that when God speaks of family he is speaking of something much broader. I may not sit around the dining room table with them but there is still a sense of connectedness. There was the woman who put her arm around me as she walked by and embraced me without saying a word. There was another friend who invited me for dinner tonight. Still another friend shared with me a beautiful story about God meeting her in a difficult life transition. There was the pastor who made sure that I and others like me knew that the message was not just for those in traditional family units. There was the friend that phoned to share the news of the birth of their baby. Then there was the family who I shared turkey dinner with last night.

So today I am not just thankful for friends. I am thankful for community. I am thankful for connectedness. I am awestruck by a God who provides all of this and still has the patience to gently remind me what I have when I forget.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Lost and Found

Lost and found
And lost

Again
In the desert
This time

I See the Son

Someone at work described the situation we are in as “The Perfect Storm.” If you have seen the movie you know that phrase refers to several big storms coming together at the same time. I have heard that analogy used several times over the past few months at work. It has become a mantra of sorts.

I had the thought that only God can create the perfect storm. The circumstances at work have only been one of the storms in my own life. I know that only God could bring me here.

The past few days I have been tested over and over. I have claimed the Truth and then been tested again. But God has also sent me help in the form of people surrounding me with love.

This morning I woke up and felt a nudge to pray for God’s hand on my day. I didn’t know what was going to happen today. It turns out that today was not a good day to be me at work. It was a difficult day and I struggled to get through it. Yet, on some core level I felt a sense of groundedness. I also managed to get through it with a level of grace that only God’s hand on my life could manage.