Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A lovely Christmas

So, the Colorado blizzard is melting although the streets are rutted, icy, and bumpy. Christmas Eve services went well. I preached at the two morning ones; at the late morning one, our church's adopted homeless family, who have now attained housing and employment, came to meet us and receive their mountain of Christmas gifts. The four children, all of whom are adorable, were thrilled. Each got to open one gift, so we had two little girls proudly wearing their new bathrobes for the rest of the service. I don't know who was more excited--the children, or the congregation--we were like kids ourselves the weeks before Christmas, buying and wrapping gifts.

At the evening service, the pastor preached, and we had our traditional candle-lighting. Standing room only despite the weather! The singer who always sings for the candle-lighting wanted to make room for us to do something different; he loves the song and ceremony but didn't want his attachment to it to get in the way. He said, "We don't have to do this..." and we said, "Oh, yes, we do." Then he said, "Well, I don't have to the be the one who sings..." and we said, "Oh, yes, you do." And so it was.

There are three brothers who are served by, and serve in, the food pantry. They are late-middle-aged and all are disabled. One or two are able to work part-time only. They have developmental disabilities and some other disabilities as well. They are absolute bears for work--it may take them a little longer to learn a complex task, but once they've got it they are rock solid. One brother is the lead volunteer on one of the main "stations" in the food pantry. They are loving and beloved members of that little community. On Christmas Eve night, the pastor welcomed them as members of the church. I took some photos and will get prints for them. They were so excited!!! Each of them came up to each staff member before church to remind us that they were joining, and one said, "This is going to be the best Christmas EVER." Since I have been working in the food pantry in December, I now get hugs from all three brothers, and I look forward to it, and to them. I hope they like their pictures.

Sad news too. One member of the church's Board is worried about one of her brothers, who's been in frail health with diabetes and horrific complications (renal failure, one amputation already and another one may be in his future) who spent the week before Christmas in ICU with what looked like an Addison's disease crisis though his doctors aren't completely certain. This poor fellow is only 44, and has been through so much already, and his family members are worried sick. Another man's son died of leukemia just before Christmas, and a man who is perhaps one of the best-loved in the church had a colonoscopy Saturday--he has a type of familial colon cancer for which he's been treated twice, and he is now waiting for biopsy results on three more polyps. He's scared to death, and I am too. Praying like mad for good news. I think it may be especially bad for him because he *knows* what will be ahead for him if the cancer has returned.

The unwonted exercise of shoveling, scraping, and pushing that resulted from the blizzard left my bad shoulder flared up, so I've had an off-and-on migraine (comes from the neck being in spasm, not as severe as most migraines most people have so it's more annoying than incapacitating). Yesterday was quiet and peaceful. I listened to music, read, walked the dog, did laundry. A letter carrier broke the silence to deliver the absolute perfect Christmas gift, from my brother and sister-in-law: a Starbucks gift card!!!! I feel warm, comfortable, happy, and deeply loved. It does not get any better. I hope everyone else's Christmas was good as well.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! My husband and I got a Starbuck's gift card from my sister and her family, too: Great Minds Think Alike! :-)

11:09 PM  

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