#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.

It was a fine day.

Uncle Dowe messaged me at 5:46 a.m. with an encouraging word.

Breakfast at Fat Cats with Larry, Alan, and Karen (not that Karen) was good and the conversation was better.

I changed the oil in my truck with minimal mess. Minimal mess and me don’t frequently hang out together.

While underneath the pickup I had the most delightful telephone conversation with my friend Marie who is going to sing some gather by the river songs Sunday coming (not Sunday next). It is going to be fine.

The Cutie decided that it was the day to make sauerkraut so I harvested 20 cabbages. They were some of the most beautiful I have ever grown.

Whilst in the garden I got a call, on my watch of all things, from Linda about a prayer need that was urgent. The prayers commenced without delay. Later in the afternoon she called to say things were looking better.

Amen.

Anyway, we labored over that cabbage for a couple of hours and left it fermenting for the next six weeks.

Some things are definitely worth the work and the wait.

Homemade sauerkraut and homemade ice cream are on this list.

I mowed my garden lot. As I wound my way among the blueberry bushes I snacked on the newly ripened fruit. The limbs on the bushes are bending low with the bounty.

The Cutie and I went on a late afternoon cruise. The lake was calm. The weather was dang near perfect.

The herons and egrets and cormorants were showing out.

We’d never been to the prime rib buffet at the Lodge.

We have now.

As we motored back to the berth we felt the cool air, bantered about things great and small, and I felt a deep peace and a great hope.

All that, and other things, are in my wake now.

Today may bring the same.

Or storms on a grand scale.

Bring it on!

As our Friend and I walked a cool hike in a light South breeze we were talking about how things that seem small can make a ginormous difference. I was telling him how much I needed a day like yesterday in the books. He smiled at me the way he does and said…

“That one is done. Be alert. New mercies today are promised.”

Your move.

Brother Pat

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Posted 2 weeks ago