In a world where we are continually barraged with discouraging news, and as of this week, a whole slough of conspiracy theories, it can be hard to spot the places where God's love, hope, and grace are abounding. Sometimes though, God has a way of hitting you in the face and showing up in your email box to take you on a little journey to show you where God is dwelling. That's what happened to me this week.
Early in the week I received an email. Actually, early this week I received a LOT of email...wowza! It's like people suddenly remembered that email is a thing. Anyway, this particular email came from someone I don't often receive emails from--it was one of our 8th grade confirmation students. In his email, he told me about a little project he's been working on. During his time at home he has been building bird houses, and he would like to donate them to some care facilities in the area. He was wondering if I had any ideas on what facilities he could contact, and if I had contact information for specific people there (it just so happens I have both of those!).
Ya'll. This is an EIGHTH grader! Let's be honest, there are a LOT of things he could be doing with his time at home. We are living in a time when young people have countless ways to connect with one another via different social media apps, and countless Disney content to consume on Disney+, not to mention any other streaming service out there. But this gentleman has chosen to get to work building bird houses to share with local nursing homes and care facilities. He's caring for creation AND doing something to spark joy in the lives of people who were an isolated group even before we began social distancing. This is God's love coming to life! This 8th grader is doing God's work of bringing the Kingdom of God to the here and now!
So...remember how he asked me if I had contacts for people? One of the people I thought to get him connected with was one of our dear CtK members who is the president of the resident's association at a local senior living community. This particular member is a vivacious, servant-hearted, faithful child of God who continually inspires me to keep on serving God and others no matter my age or what happens in life. So...I called her to see if I could share her contact information with this student.
Over the course of our conversation, this kindhearted woman shared with me the things that she's been working on during our time of physical distancing. Part of her day includes spending 4, yes, FOUR hours a day at her sewing machine making masks for people. Now, that might not come off as an impressive number of hours, but I have to be honest with you...I don't remember the last time I did any one thing for 4 hours straight, nonetheless something that requires cutting, ironing, and paying attention to fine details. I was pretty impressed by this.
So where are all these masks going? She's recruited 4 other women (all over 90, by the way) to join her in making them, and they are giving them to the staff of their LARGE facility they are living in. Mind you, these 5 women rarely get to connect with one another in person because of changes in procedure in their facility, so they have had to become pretty innovative in the way they work with one another.
Now, somewhere along the line, the staff of the care facility requested a different style of masks. Rather than getting discouraged by this, our dear Ctk member and her group of sewing angels got busy sewing this new style. Their one request: before staff get one of these new masks, they turn in their old one. Not to recycle the fabric, but so this group of 5 women over 90 can make arrangements for the 1st set of masks to be sent to Pillars and be distributed to those who are experiencing housing insecurity during this devastating time.
Ya'll. God showed up in my email box and at the other end of my phone this week. Through these two faithful members of CtK, God's love is certainly coming to life to bring hope, joy, grace, and reminders that God IS still here working among us even when things seem grim.
Peace be the journey,