#changetheconversation

I just came in from my morning walk.

My devotions led me to this.

We got back from our most recent trip to Haiti about eight hours ago. I, and three very humble, gifted, generous, funny, faithful friends had a full day of travel and retrospection. As is true after pretty much every trip the conversations kept steering to what could we do to “fix Haiti.” We didn’t use those words but that is the bottom line.

There are many responses rolling in your mind right now.

“Heal thyself” might well be one of them.

I digress.

By “fix” we are pretty much skipping over some of the greater truth to chase an economic solution.

Economic change is greatly needed there.

That’s exactly the thing we cannot fix.

To dwell on that is to come to a level of frustration that leads to spiritual stagnation that leads to defeat.

There is a line in a Book I read fairly regularly that says “the One who began a good work in you will see it to completion…”

We aren’t called to finish the job. We don’t even have a good grasp of what the beautiful result should look like. We are simply called to be participants in the project.

If we lose sight of this we also lose sight of something very sweet.

The good work is exactly that.

We can’t fix Haiti (or Anderson for that matter) but there are over 600 children going to school through the work that was begun in us. That means something.

We can’t fix Haiti (or Washington for that matter) but there is a young woman with new clothes going to college. New clothes and college weren’t even an option, not even a dream. That means something.

We can’t fix Haiti (or even change one hair on my head) but there is a very bright young man who is back in classical (secondary) school who’d dropped out because he didn’t have the $250 for the annual tuition. That means something.

We can’t fix Haiti but I also can’t get the image out of my head of several people leaving our outdoor woodworking area with chairs, tables, stools, and HUGE smiles. That means something.

We can’t fix Haiti but there is a freshly painted building with new pews to sit on where people gather to praise and draw strength and find hope in a place where these things are as essential as air and food. That means something.

I can’t fix Haiti but I can believe in a Friend who is in the process of doing that very thing - and fixing me in the process.

I got to the church building here in Rogersville about 11 last night. I checked my messages and mail. There was a note from a sweet lady who had a serious injury and several surgeries last year. She had no money for food - or for Christmas gifts for her children. You gave generously to her. The note she sent included the words “you have no idea how much that meant to us.”

She’s right.

As our Friend and I were winding up a fairly brief stroll this morning I felt compelled to confess the part of my life that wants to see everything fixed. He smiled at me the way he does and said…

“I prefer to look at the fixers.”

Your move.

Brother Pat

#changetheconversation

I just came in from my morning walk.

My devotions led me to this.

Life is exciting these days.

We are (hopefully) on the other side of the pandemic.

There is still lots of unpleasantness around but my filters are working efficiently.

The Cutie and I have another grandchild on the way.

And…

The congregation I have been honored to serve is very alive and very faithful.

We are seeing some new ways of doing things that are the realization of long years of teaching and seeking and waiting for this moment.

Here’s an example.

We get our income from a tip bucket at MSLB and a woven basket placed somewhat haphazardly in the narthex at the church building.

No waving a brass plate under people’s noses.

My successor is going to get a migraine. 😜

The bills are getting paid (notice all this rain 😂) and we are giving thousands EVERY WEEK in missions.

It took a virus to make it possible.

That is just one of the symptoms of the new ways we are being Church.

But this isn’t about that.

It is about something I told a good friend last week.

We were talking about the new life, new hopes, new ways, and new faces.

“I could have really run with this 20 years ago.”

What a waste of breath.

What a terrible excuse.

It wasn’t two minutes after I made that silly comment before I thought of Abraham and Sarah.

They told the messenger he should have come by 20 years earlier.

First they laughed at the Message that they were going to get active.

Then they probably giggled a bit as they got down to business.

Then something was born.

Here I sit, millennia later, learning from them.

And getting down to business.

That same messenger came by to see me.

I am giddy.

Something is being born.

Again.

The “reveal” is happening RIGHT NOW!

Eh?

As our Friend and I walked a soggy slog I was telling him about the challenges that are giving way to changes that feel so stimulating. He smiled at me the way he does and said…

“The best days are before us.”

Your move.

Brother Pat

Posted 8 weeks ago