The wind is whipping right through the palms in front of our window. That one frond is going to drop with much more of this wind. It’s going to drop, weary from holding on, just like me some days.
It’s an odd mix of adrenaline and exhaustion. Weeks like this when we’re preparing for a special Sunday and a 9 hour road trip north to spend Thanksgiving with family coming right back into the start of Advent….yeah, weeks like this can make me think my laptop is missing when it was forgotten at home. Whew!
I thrive on these times. I’m more aware of those around me, the wonderful support staff we have and the laughs we share working together to make those in our care feel welcome, feel like they belong.
These are the loud and quiet times. Moments of loud laughter when Eve shares a story from her 6-year old or the kind of laughter we try to squelch when words are whispered to another in a meeting. Usually me doing the whispering causing the unlucky person sitting next to me to laugh a little too loud and then we all laugh.
The wind still whips and it’s blowing over those palm branches like this headache has been blowing through me the past two days. The pain tends to mimic the wind, raging one minute and a brief respite the next. Like the wind, the pain will subside. It always does. And we go on, go on to the thanks giving that we find in the sounds of not one, but a chorus of laughter.
This is a good time and bad time in our little place in the world. This old building built for the purpose of giving second and third and countless chances to men who’ve gotten off course. They come through our doors head held low, eyes and hearts empty. Some wearing shame and others hiding behind a bravado that isn’t becoming or fooling anyone.
For some, this day will be full of thanks. We’ve tried to focus on that, to look for reasons to be thankful rather than resentful. We’ve talked about Job and how in all of his suffering he never cursed God, never said “I’m through”.
We’ve talked about the Apostle Paul and his thorn in the flesh, his handicap the Message calls it. We talked about how he prayed again and again for God to take it away but God’s answer was no. And some thanked God for the label of alcoholic because that brought them to God. A grateful alcoholic who knows more of the Apostle Paul’s struggle than me.
Sunday we will write our thanks on little cards and we will pile them up in the offering plates because this is the currency we offer God – hearts of gratitude because we are
Grateful perfectionists and workaholics.
We are grateful failures who stumble and find our way back up because grace bends down and lifts us up.
We will fill this building with the smell of turkey and dressing and pumpkin pie. We will deck the halls and decorate our doors. We will celebrate the lost who are found and we will raise our chorus of laughter to the God who gives us breath and life and mercy as we say Thank You to the Creator and Giver of new life.