The wallpaper border in my office says *HOPE*LOVE*FAITH*. These words remind me daily about what’s important. When I’m stressing about meeting a deadline, worrying about my sick dog, wondering how to clean clutter from my desk, or just hoping that my grandchild is born healthy, then I glance up from my chair and read these three words. Hope reminds me that tomorrow is another day of blessings to come. Love reminds me that my life is filled with people who love me and whom I love. Faith reminds me that God is with me always. Lucky me!
I’ve written about my office window before, but one day in December window watching turned out to be extra exciting. Four deer made their way out of the woods by the church parking lot. Usually the deer only poke their heads out, but on this day they sauntered out to the grass. They were probably looking for the corn and apples I sometimes give them when it snows. Last year I was greeted by a small deer as I parked my car in the morning. That made me think that perhaps I was spoiling the deer too much, but it gave me pleasure to help this lovely animal and to give him nourishment during the winter.
In this Christmas season of giving, we must remember that we humans reside in a beautiful world with other creatures. God made us trustee, and we must make sure that we give gifts to our non-human friends this Christmas too. After all, Jesus was not alone in that stable! So on Christmas Eve I’m putting out some gifts for the deer and the birds at church, and I’m sending a check to the Kent Animal Shelter for the dogs and cats who don’t have a home yet. Merry Christmas to All!
We love to have visitors at our church! Sometimes visitors come on four legs such as a friend’s dog, Cheyenne. Sometimes they come in wheelchairs or strollers. Last week a visitor hopped in when we weren’t paying attention. I looked over to the other staff offices and a gigantic (or so it seemed to me) toad hovered by the wall. While I pondered what to do (get a glass, pick it up with fingers, get help from others), Pastor Karen swooped up the lonely toad with her hands and carried it lovingly outdoors. “There you go!” she said. There was no hesitation about helping a visitor. United Methodists really have open doors!
This fun day is on August 13! Wear casual clothes like t-shirts, shorts, and sandals to church at 9:30 a.m. After the service we’ll have sub sandwiches, chips, fruit, cookies, and beverages in Fellowship Hall. Then we’ll play games like Ladder Ball, Kan Toss with Frisbees, and cards inside. Outside we’ll play badminton. You can decide to participate or just chat at your table. In any case, come and have your spirit renewed and lifted! Sign up on the Message Board in the Narthex if you can bring in any food items. We welcome you and your friends to join us!
There is a wonderful lift to the spirit when I pull weeds. Outside the office window, there is a plethora of extraneous plants, some that have been there for a long time and some that have sprouted because the birds have scattered the seeds from the feeder. I’m not sure why it feels good to organize this garden, but it does.
I know that I’m not the only one who thinks this way. The Bible is full of references to gardens and seeds. It says, that “for everything there is a season.” Dandelions, for instance, are good food for bees which pollinate our crops, although they’re a headache for farmers and suburban lawns. Poison ivy spreads misery when touched by people, but horses and other animals find the taste delicious.
Are weeds only weeds to the eye of the beholder? Let’s hope we don’t look at people the same way we look at our garden. Let’s appreciate the variety of humans in our midst and weed only the yard.