Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Showers of blessing update (with photos!)
What an amazingly beautiful morning! Today, very early on, I gave Colin a bad time because (well, because I always give Colin a bad time) I thought he was being Pollyannaish when he declared very early, “This is the best Showers yet!” And I’m not going to admit this to him so, Colin, please skip this part … [He was right!!!!]
To those of you who weren’t able to make it, I’m so sorry we missed you and that you missed our Christmas Showers. It really was great.
I haven’t yet done my “number work,” but I believe we hosted 59 guests today. This is a huge (30%) increase over our previous high of 45. Of course, growth is good news; yet it also makes me aware that we’re each going to have to exert more effort to ensure that we have real conversation with each guest. We can’t individually, but we can as a community. We don’t want to lose that personal touch which is the heart of this ministry. As I walk around, I’m thrilled with all of the blending and the conversations that I see happening because my prayer is always that our guests are nourished when they leave us. Let’s always make this happen.
So highlights from this morning, and there were many!
· We had many merry Methodists. (Did anyone besides me happen to notice that they had a huge box of chocolate candies in their breakfast food lineup today? I’m seriously going to have to check out that religion!)
· We also had homemade Christmas goodies that seemed to continuously appear on the courtyard table throughout the morning. (Many thanks to all of you who made that happen!)
· And this convergence was somewhat coincidental, but we had 3 guests assessing medical and mental health needs which I hope will lead to something more tangible for us in the future. (Thanks for your initiative in arranging that, Colin.)
· There was Claudia’s Winter Coat Boutique, complete with rolling clothing rack, and Claudia snapping “after” photos of all of the smiling coat recipients (I hope, to share with her generous – and now underclothed – family of donors).
· And then what I loved most … we had lovely, string, angel music drifting down from the balconies. So it wasn’t really 18 cellos. It was more like 11 cellos, 4 violins and one flute. I thought it was absolutely beautiful, though, and I’ve asked Sr. Karla to please bring her gang back without waiting for next Christmas. She’s now thinking maybe for our March Showers.
Finally, Elaine was at home, sick this morning, no doubt tormented at having to miss her beloved Showers. In a text, she’d asked that we capture and share with her the “God moments.” I hadn’t seen her text until we got home, and we didn’t get home until the event was well over, after having spent quite a bit of time on site afterwards, restocking hygiene supplies and waiting for the laundry to finish. As we waited in the now-empty-and-quiet courtyard, Bill and I commented to each other how it was a place transformed – there was no sign left of the magic that had occurred just that morning.
As we drove home – not even having seen Elaine’s request – we tried to get each other to pin down a particular God moment, and we couldn’t. Then we got home, and I found several emails in my Inbox from Claudia because she’d forwarded a beautiful, vibrant series of photos that she’d taken this morning. Looking at those photos after having been in the empty courtyard was almost like when “The Wizard of Oz” springs into Technicolor. The place had been completely and wholeheartedly alive! And I realized, Elaine, that there wasn’t one particular moment because the whole thing had really been a God moment. He was there in the Technicolor and the vibrancy and the motion and the love and the human interactions and (I’m pretty sure) in whomever thought to put that box of chocolates in the Methodist breakfast lineup. That’s why we keep coming, right?
I think I say this a lot, but I say it in complete sincerity: thank you all tremendously for making this such an incredible ministry!
See more pictures here: