From the Schoolhouse
She caught me staring.
She said it was ok.
I glanced at the machine wistfully. “I always wanted to learn, but well, it wasn’t a manly thing, you know.”
She understood. “I could teach you.,” she said. “It’s not that hard.”
I doubted her. She saw it in my nervous expression. “How long would it take?” I asked.
“Not long.” Her ebullience was mildly contagious.
She led me by the hand to the machine. It glistened with an ivory luster, its hard shell waiting for me. She paused and asked me if I was a musician. I blinked not seeing the connection. “Yes.”
“Great,” she said as she fluttered over to a cabinet sequestered in the shadows behind the other machines. She rummaged a little and then with a satisfied sigh pulled out a little zip lock bag. The pillow slip, still freshly folded and untouched by human hands, swarmed with miniature guitars. She studied it carefully and then smiled. “This will do. This will do fine. We’ll start tomorrow.”
From the Pulpit
This week we traveled further north up the Aegean coast of Turkey to one of the most renown ancient cities. Pergamos, according to Pliny, was one of the most illustrious cities of that time. It had a library of over 200,000 books. It had a church hero in Antipas who stood his ground and died a heroic martyr at the end of the first century. Our text was found in Revelation 2:12-17 and in these words we see God dropping white stones into our hands. The white stone was a voting pebble used in courts to grant freedom to the victim. And His promise to us is that if we hold true to Him He will grant us daily white stones, daily encouragements, daily confirmations of hope.
From the Pew
I hadn’t seen Beverly Watson in 25 years. And yet there she was standing in front of the computer lab at the Eastern Shore Community College. In fact, I hadn’t even recognized her as I passed the entrance desk on my way to the morning seminar on Coastal Resilience. The college hosted this event so anyone interested in sea level rise and its impact on the Shore could come and explore the nuances of its latest app (see www.coastalresilience.org). I joined about 25 other professionals, scientists, retirees, city planners etc who likewise wanted to gain additional knowledge about the impact of rising water on the fragile coastline.
It was only after Beverly came in and spoke to me at the break that I recognized my former member of the Cheriton Baptist Church. So much time had passed. And yet she was looking almost the same as the day I left Cheriton. I recalled how many times she had selflessly left the pew of the old sanctuary to attend to the Sunday morning nursery. And here she was volunteering at an event at the college. It was such a pleasure to refresh memories and catch up the latest news of friends I had lost contact with in all these interim years.