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Messy, Needy, Fearful

I sit in my office on this beautiful day, 70 degrees outside, and my terrified dog, Benni, under my desk. Benni is fine when she is with Steve and I alone; other people and places make her very nervous. She has come a long way since we adopted her last September, when she was so shy she wouldn’t look at us. It took her about 3 months to feel comfortable in her home, and she is a delight –  most of the time!

On this beautiful day, the parking lot is filled with people from Meals on Wheels and Third Wall productions – both working in their separate areas to clean, to plan, and to meet the needs of clients who have limited ability to care for themselves. Debra Barton, our Spiritual Director in residence, is in the chapel meeting with with a client. There are days when I am so thankful for the many people who use this facility.  We see them working with many different members of our community, all with their own needs. All of us here at St. Thomas’ share in their ministries, because we have shared our space with them.  Like our dog, Benni, sometimes people need to be accepted as they are – messy, needy, fearful, or highly professional, they need patience, kindness, love, and firmness. It requires a lot of work, but they are a delight – most of the time!

As we venture further into Lent, let us examine our hearts together: are we willing to love the difficult, the frightened, even those with bad behavior?  I am currently struggling with this last part myself – watching a difficult person wreak havoc for  someone I love.  I pray that God will give me greater love and patience for the person who is difficult, but also the ability to calmly and firmly stand up for what is right.  Both are needed – love and firmness.  Let us pray that we deepen our ability to do both.

This Week at St. Thomas’

Thursday: 7:30 Music Practice
Friday:      7:00 AA
Saturday:  9:30 First Communion
Sunday:    9:30 worship with Dr. Laurie Taylor Mitchell from the Loch Raven Network
After Church:  Forum: discussion on “Radical Renovation” with Debra Barton, Spiritual Director   in Residence
Monday:   7:00 NA
Tuesday:  7:30 EfM

In Closing

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to your Cross I cling;
Naked, come to you for dress;
Helpless, look to you for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.
   – from the hymn “Rock of Ages” –