I have been living my life hermit-like, away from people and away from crowds. Cliff and I have kept to the same routine every day for a long time, and I have loved the sameness of our days. I get out of bed in the morning thanking God that I can walk and see and hear (and I never forget to thank Him for coffee). I can't even remember when I last had a bad day. How many people can say that?
Sitting in church yesterday, I saw what I've been missing without realizing it: People!
There's something about meeting with a group of people who have a common purpose. I am once again part of something bigger than myself.
It is an awakening to hear the prayer requests and realize the world doesn't revolve around me, and that not everybody has had such a string of good days as I have.
What's up with all the asthma these days? How awful it must be to not be able to take a decent breath. Several people at church are having problems with asthma, and this reminds me to also pray for Cliff's favorite aunt and his brother, Phil.
A six-year-old girl's cancer has returned. Her grandmother also has been treated for cancer.
In a small, local church I am surrounded by neighbors, some of whose frailties I know, and they know some of mine. I am reminded that church is a place for faulty people like me. A big church has better singing and often more powerful preaching, but if I sit in a pew feeling invisible, there is something valuable missing.
I am once again part of the community, and it feels good!
After church yesterday Cliff, his sister, and I attended a fund-raiser dinner the boy scouts were hosting. The meal was surprisingly delicious. There was a huge turnout, over five hundred people (in a town with a population of 780). I saw on Facebook that they later ran out of food.
To make a good day even better, in the afternoon my cousin Betty and her husband came to visit. Betty and I reminisced about our childhood days, sharing memories of our grandma. I wound up Grandma's old music box so she could hear it play, which of course brought a smile to her face. We shared some quotes and sayings from Betty's dad, my Uncle Leo. Examples: "There are dumb people, but there are no dumb animals." "Take the money from the rich people and give it to the poor, and in a year's time the money will be right back where it started."
Cliff and I were talking about how special those shared childhood memories can be, and it prompted him to call one of his cousins. They were still talking when I went to bed an hour later.
See what I mean about good days?