Perspective: 97 and onward

April 3, 2012

Sr. Wantabee visited a 97 year old lady in assisted living yesterday. She actually has three or four who are ooching on towards 98 years old, living in apartments in assisted living where they can go for meals if they want but they have a semblance of independence. What keeps these little ole ladies going? It was the fourth visit and for the fourth time the lady recounted the miracle of her parents meeting “back in those days.” He immigrated, leaving his sweetheart behind, married here and had five children, loosing the wife at the birth of the fifth. He returned to the homeland to the love of his youth and found her aged and undesireable. On the boat back he met a lady from “the other country” neighboring his homeland but she was headed to be the wife of a family with five sons. “Meet me in St. Louis if you want to marry me.” They met in St. Louis after the three week trip and my friend was their next to last child and the only remaining one. She traced the miracles of her life, graduating in the depression, getting an education as a farm kid, marrying and finding our church which is “my life.” she has not attended for years but still remembers the role of faith. It is not unlike the people of Israel recounting the journey in the wilderness or Christians all over the world reenacting the Easter story in multiple languages, multiple medias, and in multiple ways. The recounting of the miracles of our lives gives us perspective for facing the future. May I be able to share my story if I live to be 97!!!

Pietism meets Social Justice

April 2, 2012

Sr. Wantabee walked to church last night to fill her communion kit for taking communion to shut ins today. On the way home, walking down the alley in her inner city neighborhood she recognized a man she had passed earlier loading his car, now unloading it in her neighbor’s garage. He used a stick to prop his trunk open and so he had caught her attention. They greeted and his story poured out.
Struggling with “a handicap”, he was unable to find work but he was making ends meet and “the good Lord must have a reason to keep him alive.” He took one of the “don’t park on this side of the street” signs and turned it into a guitar and stood at the exit from the freeway dancing to his music. People were getting to know him. Coming home from work, minds burdened with the trials of the day, they would see him dancing at the exit and they would give him a dollar or two and their gloom would leave. Many now recognized him and could not give at the beginning or end of the month when bills needed to be paid but (dare I say) tithed to him midmonth. Others went home and fixed him a sandwich. Police would come by and encourage him and spend time chatting. He is known as Dancing ……. Now he is sweeping the sidewalks in the neighborhood and becoming known. He’s making it, helping people in the way he is able…even though he can’t hold down a job.
Sr. Wantabee reflected as her salary is “support” raised through prayer. People who believe in her and her husband’s ministry send in monthly gifts that enable them to visit shut-ins, give communion, work for the church. How very similar our lives are.
Sr. Wantabee went home encouraged on Palm Sunday that God is present and active in our world in all sorts of ways.