#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 is my favorite season.

I am not a sports fan so don’t go there.

But there is a similar reality to that of an athlete before game day.

There is a lot of preparation.

A considerable amount of sweat and strategy come into play.

You learn from those who have succeeded, mostly by trial and error, and realize the innovation can be risky - and rewarding.

Some of us can remember when Bear Bryant thought the forward pass was to be utilized as a last resort.

I digress.

Anyway.

I am bringing in several pounds of tomatoes every day.

So there.

My favorite season.

It has been said that everything else in the garden is what you do while you wait for the tomatoes to ripen.

But this isn’t about that.

It is about the various seasons of our lives and how they come together. How they ripen.

There was a season when we played with passion and not much else. Our lives were carefree as someone desperately in love with us watched over us. And made sure our needs were met.

There was a season when we became obsessed with superficial things. We could spend hours getting our part straight. Or covering a pimple.

There was a season when we labored long and hard to “get ahead” even if it meant falling behind.

You know what I mean?

There was a season when we saw nests emptying and schedules changing.

Then came that day when you just listened.

And smelled.

And looked.

And felt.

And tasted.

And even though you are sore and achy from working the garden for so long you are at peace.

You spread the mayonnaise, slice the fruit.

And smile.

Eh?

As our Friend and I walked into the summertime haze we strolled by the garden. We were discussing favorite seasons and game day and living into an impossibly important peace. He smiled at me the way he does and said…

“Taste and see.”

Your move.

Brother Pat

Posted 2 weeks ago