I was sitting on the deck last Saturday morning with a cup of coffee, the dogs curled up at my feet, and a cool breeze in the air. As many of you know we have been immersed in loss at the church this past week with three funerals of loved ones and friends, and a fourth in this coming week. These kind of weeks happen in the life of any community of faith, and can take a toll on all those involved as we grieve and care for one another. I am grateful for our staff and members who step up and cover the additional work and ministry needed to offer comfort and grace with those who have lost in times of grief and stress.
It is often a time of reflection for me, post services, on the things of life and faith. The telling of stories of life, sharing tears and laughter, and memories that begin to fill those empty places left behind in the absence of those we love. I have long said that in the midst of these times we do not only grieve for the one most recent, but in that grief all those we have lost and missed join in the struggle to express our sorrow, we grieve for all we have lost.
Reflecting on those ideas and all the memories and stories we shared this past week and recalling memories for the one we prepare for now, there were a few tears shed on the deck Saturday as I sat in the morning sun with my four legged companions and cup of coffee. Those sacred moments and memories are healing for the heart and soul even when they bring tears.
I took a deep breath and prepared to return to the house, the dogs heard my sigh and rose from their place at my feet, and just as I began to rise from my chair I was taken aback for just a moment and a smile crossed my lips. Floating across the empty space in front of me was a butterfly, with brilliant yellow wings, it fluttered up and down and finally came to rest on my knee. I sat for a moment more, raised my cup and finished my coffee and said, “I am grateful for a brush with grace in this moment, thanks for the lift.” I moved and the butterfly continued its journey to the east toward the morning sun.
I found the timing and symbolism nourishing and soothing for my own heart and soul. Here in the midst of all our community of faith is about with regards to care, compassion, comfort, support, and love; even in something as small and ordinary as the gentle brush of a butterfly wing… these are the things that bring new life and hope in a good world, a very good world.
Here is just another small way we seek to be mindful of the Spirit and our world here at the Hill, where you are one of the community. Here where there is always an open door, a safe space, a warm welcome, and a place at the table. Not Your Ordinary Church. Until next week, God bless, and know you are never alone.
Peace and Light on Your Journey,