FIRST: Isn’t it funny how our minds and bodies will just take over and give us what we need -even if we don’t know what it is at the time??? The last few days I’ve been videoing and blogging to share with you all about my new medicine patterns and sleeplessness. That’s old news, of course. I realized something, though, this morning. Like so many other 2 ams this week I found myself stirring. I wobbled to the bathroom and then went in search of my laptop. (By the way: it is really hard to stay upright when you are missing part of your brain AND are on heavy narcotics, not going to lie about that.)
Well, there is my wife asleep in the bed and I don’t want to wake her (such a light sleeper compared to me), so I head to the kitchen.
Here it is almost 3 am and I suddenly realize that I’m at home. I don’t mean that I feel at home or that my in-laws have just made me feel falsely welcome. Nope! I mean, I feel at home enought that I started my morning routine. I went to the pantry and poured some Cinnamon Toast Crunch (Yes, I’m aware of what a diet-poor decision that is. I don’t care, btw, at 4 or 5am. If it isn’t light out, the sugar and calories won’t count.
I’ve really been blessed to be staying in a place where such hospitality is shown. It is great to be in a place where my in-laws tell me how they feel about my attitude, life, or behavior so that I can be the best person possible.
Tonight was one of those moments. Earlier tonight I showed my mother-in-law, June, this new project I’ve bee doing. She said, “Oh, gee, Scott, I see how you’re trying to make people feel appreciated, but this could make people feel bad. What about those people who have meant to send a card and forgot or couldn’t.
As I’ve scanned these cards into the computer, I’ve let those words tumble around my head. She may be right, yet there are some other thoughts tumbling around my head, lately. Over the past few months have been preaching and teaching about how we need to truly show our love. I’ve said it over-and-over: We need to write a card, make a phone call, and we need to visit one another. If we are to be a community of Christ we need to be disciplined in showing our love to those around us.
I guess I could shove all these cards into an old shoe box as a selfish reminder one-day of some nice things that people once said to me…but I think the calling of pastor is higher than that. I’ve been asking people to reach out in relationship and develop deeper connections with one-another, God and the world. I want to lift up the thoughtful gestures that have been shared with me as an example.
These aren’t just names on a paper. This isn’t just a list of prayers in a bulletin. It’s not just a signature on a nice picture. Nope. These are thoughts and love, poured out for others. Whether it is a time of “Sharing the Love of Christ” on Sunday morning during worship; whether it is a phone call to a loved one on Saturday afternoon; whether it is stopping in for lunch at Evenglow or delivering meals-on-wheels… Whatever ministries fill our week, let them be visible signs of how much we care for others. We can’t just look at someone’s nametag and think that we know them. We must look more closely at them and find deeper connections with them. Tonight I show you just a few of the many expressions of love that I have received over the past few weeks. (These are just a few from this week while I’ve been in St Louis, I’m not sure I’ll ever get them all up) This isn’t meant as an exercise in vanity or a way to show off. And I hope that no one feels bad if their card isn’t yet visible on this virtual card wall. This is meant as a way to remind us that small expressions of love really do matter in this world. Small expressions of love are what keep us going, smiling, and loving.
Take a look at some of the nice notes I’ve received. Then—- don’t send me yet another. Turn around, grab a piece of blank paper, and start writing a note to someone in your life who might just need a kind word.
Lastly, I ask a favor. I have tried to “redact” any personal or confidential notes that might embarrass or bother anyone. If I have inadvertently left something in, or if you wish your note to be removed, please let me know ASAP and I’ll take it down!!! The last thing I wish to do is cause trouble or discomfort for you!!!