Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A Living Gospel

It is August my friends and our air conditioner in our new home is completely dead. Yes. Yes. Stephanie and her children are surviving with box fans and AC window inserts from K-Mart.

Oh yes, these are good times.

It makes me chuckle as it was a year ago just last week that we stayed in the rental property on the other side of town, all in one room as I looked out of the skylights and silently yelled at God (yes, you can silently yell). I was so angry with Him. He Who is the Giver of good gifts.

So, here we are, in August, and all my littles are sharing a room with us again, the room being the air conditioned master bedroom.


I would never ever ever ever go on an "Did my air conditioner really die during the hottest part of the year?" rant.

Yet, as I make an egg sandwich and watch as my freshly showered body starts to drip with sweat, my thoughts turn to sweet Juneau. Cool fresh crisp Juneau.

I called Juneau my Alaskan Atrium in my last post (nevermind that I have been away from this space for two months)....and yet when I think of Juneau as Atrium where I grappled with some deep mommy "work" I also see it as the sacred space where I encountered the Gospel.

What do I mean??

I mean, in my May visit to Juneau, the Gospel was and continues to be witnessed to me. Juneau is a place where I hear the proclamation of the Life of Christ. But not as something spoken to me, as if in history, no something I live, accept and participate in as a Christian. Something very NOW.

Take the Visitation for instance.

Elizabeth rejoiced with Mary. Elizabeth saw and FELT joy for Our Lady and proclaimed it to her.

"Blessed are you amoung women and blessed is the Fruit of your womb."

How special, how very special, that we as mothers are given a glimpse of a sweet and divine moment between two mamas.

I am so thankful for my mommy friends. They nurture me and love on me in ways that I couldn't imagine at times. I fell in love with the Visitation during my life in Juneau because I was given the gift of friendships, divinely inspired friendships, that I believe make St Elizabeth and Our Lady smile.

So, time and time again, in so many ways, I see not a stagnant Gospel, but a Gospel that is on the move in the people who are my friends, the people who are the Body of Christ giving that Gospel hands and feet, and kind eyes.

When we were planning our trip to Juneau it was my bright idea for us to arrive in Juneau and stay in our empty rental property, as in zero things in it.

It was my friend Cheryl...my list maker, organized, DOER of GOOD DEEDS. CHERYL. Cheryl coordinated a mass effort to stock my fridge with things that other mamas donated. Like MILK! FRUIT! BREAD! I washed my face with face wash and dried it on towels. Air mattress beds were blown up and made with PILLOWS. I had a wonky coffee pot made with parts of other coffee makers but I DIDN'T CARE because there was creamer!!!!

I cried. I cried out of shear exhaustion from the cross country flight but also having been cared for in beautiful works of mercy. Feeding us. Giving us a home by providing the things a home needs. I was given things I didn't even know I would need.

So so so holy.

Generosity. I always feel a sense of extreme gratitude when I encounter the Gospels. God is a God of Abundance and so it feels so natural to want to respond with Thanksgiving!

The generosity of my friends from Juneau doesn't just make me feel loved and welcomed, it made me feel grateful! It makes me want to give thanks! Thank you to the beautiful York family who let us use their mini--van and drive all over Juneau as we saw and were affirmed in her mountains and water...yes Forbes family, I am still here! Thank you to the Smith family for having a wedding and a double baby shower so that we could participate, we could have a shared collective memory with our dearest friends...yes Forbes family, we are still here! 

Thank you to coffee dates with Kelley and playdates with Jennifer and walks in the campground with Maureen. Thank you to Jana and Trevor who helped us in ways that you only make really close people help you...like help getting a power washer and help coordinating a late night drop off at a hotel.

There was more.

So so so much more and I am slowly getting handwritten thank you cards out.

Have you ever encountered someone who complains? They are so consumed with what is "wrong" that they sometimes need a gentle reminder of all that is RIGHT. Gratefulness can even surprise them!

Like this: "I know your AC is broken Stephanie, but you aren't ALL colonial living, you DO have electricity." Bahaahahahahaha

So I only felt as I logged on to this blog, that I wanted to say a little more about Juneau. A little reminder to myself, now written down, of sweet memories of shared moments, little gifts, that I will treasure. I am grateful for people who took the time to drive me to Douglas to borrow a van or gave their time and talent so my husband could paint the shed faster.  People who saw their things as something to share.  I borrowed all those things that Cheryl anticipated I would need. We consumed the food but we borrowed so much! Plates, coffee mugs, strollers, even christmas lights (wink!).

And then the Christian receives and asks herself...she asks herself even now, two months later...How can I serve?

How can I witness?

How can I be a Living Gospel?

How can I pass this on?

Because here...here is where I have done the MOST growth. God moved me and He taught me it is not about the Place, it is about the Christian.

Love you and enjoy your AC for me! xxoo

1 comment:

  1. Oh I am so happy to be taken back to your visit and all the celebrating we did!!! Thank you again for coming back to Juneau!!! It was the most special gift for all of us!