Pastor Jeff’s Full Blog Posts
So I had just finished my Wednesday meeting of the Brethren and on my way home when I saw an old friend walk into a store. So I pulled over and went in the store. At the front of the store there are some tables and chairs kind of and impromptu coffee/tea thingy. So we sat down and started catching up.
Well about 5 minutes into the conversation, this little boy of about 3 or 4 years, is climbing into my lap and then nestles up to my chest. No word spoken, my friend smiles and continues.
A minute goes by and another little boy a shade older pushes a chair over climbs up and then leans against my side. My friend says, “Are these your grand kids?” and I say “Well, I guess they are now.”
Our conversation continues when a young man in his late 20s comes into the store with a look of desperation in his eyes, and then he sees the boys and says, “Where have you been? Your mother is worried sick.”
The boy on my lap turns and says matter-of-factly, “Why we have been with Grandpa.”
Dad is between anger and relief and I said to the boys, “Next time, tell your mom where you’re are going okay?”
The older says, “Then she will say we can’t because Grandpa is dead……”
Out of the mouths of babes…….
A moment later there was a young woman standing in the door staring at me. I stood up went over and said “Good Morning, I am Grandpa.”
This created a contorted smile, a sob, and a 2 minute hug and then and invite to come back. So I gave her a card so she could call me anytime. Because Grandpas, like God, are on call 24/7.
There is a park behind our motor home. The other day there was this very old man sitting on a bench reading a book. There were a number of our homeless folk gathered at this picnic table and they were yelling at each other and using a lot of colorful metaphors and this went on for about an hour and then they migrated back to the church property until the old man was alone. During that whole time he never moved save to smirk or turn a page.
Finally he stood up and put his book in a tote bag along with a cushion he had been sitting on and he began walking towards the gate at the church. I felt compelled to go to him and inquire how he manages to ignore the din of the guys.
As I approached he stopped, set down the tote bag and raised his hand for me to stop, which I did. Then he reached into his pocket pulled out a small box and opened it and proceeded to put in his hearing aids. I smiled and said, “You just answered my question. I was wondering how you could maintain perfect peace amidst such a raucous din.”
He smiled and said, “It is my secret weapon and one of my most precious gifts that God has ever given me.”
My Grandpa Smith had this gift as well. When the grand kids were running about and being loud, he would sit in his arm chair and read the newspaper or take a nap and he could do this because he had turned off his hearing aids.
Maybe someday I will obtain this gift.
There was this flock of crows on the stretch of lawn adjacent to the east side of the prayer house. The flock launched just as this big gust of wind rose up and one of the birds got slammed into the wall. It bounced off and through a shrub and landed on the lawn.
I was pretty sure it was dead, but then about 8 crows landed and surrounded the downed bird. About a minute passed and then one of the crows went over and nudged it with its beak. The downed bird fluttered a little and then rose up into a nesting position and the others just stayed with their comrade. Another moment or two passed and the downed bird was standing but was still a bit wobbly.
A neighbor was passing through with a little dog on a leash, but the 8 Crows took a protective formation and let out a series of cries and in about 10 seconds the number of crows increased to about 30. Now, a full 10 minutes had passed, and the downed bird had made a couple of test launches and then with much fanfare the entire flocked walked away from the building and then launched into the air and flew over to the Gardens on the Southeast side of the property and resumed their search for munchables.
Kind of reminds me of a Mantra we had in the battlefield: No man left behind.
In the book of Romans the Apostle Paul said that the very nature of God could be seen through His creation. It is the Fathers nature that none should perish.
Even the Crows have learned that and yet humankind has not. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us……
In James Chapter 2 it talks about seeing people in need and yet not doing anything. What about doing something but then not carrying it through to the finish?
I heard this story about such an incident and it goes like this:
There was this very poor and old woman who lived in a shanty on the edge of a town. Oh, it had four walls and a roof but when you went inside you could see the outside through the spaces between the boards and the sky through the cracks in the roof. Now in the summer and early autumn months it was pleasant enough to feel the warm scented breezes wafting through the shanty, but in the winter, it was not so pleasant. One day the old woman had a visitor, a merchant who was seeking some water to quench his thirst and the thirst of horses and the old woman freely gave access to her well. The merchant looked about and saw the need and so when he arrived in town he purchased the necessary supplies and had them sent to the old woman’s home. She was quite happy to see the supplies but being of such and old age was not able to use them.
And so it was as the merchant was returning home, that he found the supplies sitting in her yard. It was then he realized his mistake and so he returned to the city and hired two men and they returned and finished the job and that winter the old woman was warm and dry for the first time since her husband had died so many years ago.
Often times we see the outside of the problem and so we address what we see rather than taking the time to access what the cause of the problem is.
In dealing with the homeless and those on the streets money is not the cure it helps facilitate the cure. And the cure for one is not the cure for all, any more than taking aspirin to cure cancer because in cured your headache. What is really needed is time and a willingness to listen. It took time for them to reach the place they are at and it will take time to get them back to ground zero and it will take time to rebuild the life.
I was sitting here loosing at solitaire, when a large sea gull lands on the roof of my truck. He is squawking and having a terrible time standing up. Then I notice that he has a big goober of fishing line around one foot and the part of a plastic ring used to hold a six pack together around the other and the ring is somehow entwined with the fishing line.
So armed with my trusty pair of side cutters I approach the bird who settles down lays on its side and allows me to nip my through this really thick line which turns out to be a chunk of net and the six pack thingy was tied to the net anyway 10 minutes passed and the bird and I had a nice chat and then he was free and then he stamped his feet an accepted my offering of a piece of toast with yogurt on it and flew away heading northwest.
Just think: he had to come all the way to Anawim to get set free from this entanglement he had in his life………