Good Morning, Dear Friends.
It was a disappointing day. I had my ticket to the Mary Nutter Softball tournament (where all the nation’s best softball teams come to play) and, when I arrived, there was nowhere to park. Forget the parking lots, all the streets anywhere near the tournament were full of cars. Having seen a couple of games the day before where it was a tolerable crowd, seeing ten times the cars there, I could envision crowded chaos in the stadium areas should I find my way in there. There are no assigned seats allowing people to move from one game to another—that is if you could move.
Instead, I abandoned that plan and chose to drive up to one of my “happy places,” Oak Glen. And, while there was a place to park, other than the beautiful drive, there was nothing there to visit. All the things I once knew were gone. Driving back, I stopped in Old Town Redlands where the restaurants had no available tables.
Now, I was hungry and grumpy. I finally made it to a shopping mall which looks like every other mall but there was a Farmer Boys. At the counter, I asked, “can you cut the hamburger in half?” Linda was with me on this adventure and a hamburger is too big for either of us. The woman answered, “Of course, would you like us to put each half of the meal on a separate plate?” That simple hospitality felt like one of the best kinds of hugs; the kind where the tension in your shoulders is released and you can smile once again.
As I look towards Spring and the thawing of the pandemic’s isolation, I am reminded small things matter like how we greet one another and strangers, offer a cup of coffee, and ask another a question that allows them to share some of their stories. The things we once knew are no longer and navigating the world is harder. Everyone could use some kindness.
And, it is something we can do in the midst of a war that feels both far away and so very close.
At the risk of using Jesus for my own purpose, it does seem to me that, despite the big concerns of his time and place, and the push and pull of the people around him, Jesus took the time to be with his disciples and with those he met along the way. It is no coincidence that the longest conversation recorded in the Bible is his conversation with the woman he just happened to meet at the well.
In God’s Love,