fellow travellers, pt. 2
An update from last week’s post: Jeff and I found out last Wednesday afternoon he would be resuming chemotherapy this week as all the numbers for his blood work were where they needed to be. ‘Whew’ does not quite cover it, yet the variations of ‘yahoo’ going around once we had heard, and then shared, the news felt a bit … odd. Good, but odd. After all, chemotherapy is no fun-filled trip to Disneyland. And (again) we would have quite happily given this particular road a wide berth altogether.
But – again – but the way we are learning to be a part of our church community … It’s humbling. Amazing. Embarrassing. That’s right, a little bit embarrassing.
First, a bit of background information: To put it plainly, Jeff and I have not done much to keep our yard looking nice over the years. We’ve maintained what we had felt we absolutely had to over the last few years in particular. Inadvertently we also provided a pretty sweet hangout for a number of birds. As such, our goal this year was to clean up what we had to in order to make snow shovelling and the carting around of garbage bins come winter less treacherous, and then in the spring we would begin to tackle the neglected pruning and cleanup of our yard. So when one of the youth groups at our church offered to look after our fall yard cleanup this past Saturday, we accepted and let them know what we had planned to do ourselves. Jeff and I both agreed we absolutely did not expect them to tackle the whole shebang.
And wouldn’t you know it – the crew of (at one point) 12 – came in with trucks and rakes and saws and basically started in the ‘whole shebang’ area. They left Jeff and I humbled, amazed, apologetic, and thankful. So thankful. Because, man, it’s not easy to let people see some of your worst messes, literal or figurative. Yet here these people were, diving in and doing more than we had asked of them. We kept wandering around later in the afternoon, looking out the windows until daylight faded, shaking our heads, grateful.
So, again, thanks to the whole Fusion crew that came out and blew us away with your generosity over a 4-hour period.
Last week I also mentioned Eugene Peterson – pastor, poet, scholar, theologian – had entered into hospice care. His time there was short, as this Monday, October 22nd he died at the age of 85 surrounded by the family who knew and loved him best. I’ll admit – I was genuinely sad to hear the news. But it was beautiful, the statement his family issued after his passing, and to read of the memories, the things learned from him as people shared on various social media platforms. What a life – lived not for earthly fame or glory, but to serve and love God and people as best he could. It, too, leaves me humbled, amazed, apologetic, and thankful. As such, it seems fitting to close out today with this passage from the book of Hebrews in the Bible where Paul talked of various heroes of the faith:
…God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours.
Do you see what this means – all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. – Hebrews 11:40 – 12:1a (The Message)
Thank you, Eugene. And to those of us still here—let’s get on with it. Together.