In general, my children are pretty typical in many ways – they have their good days and their bad days. They tattle on each other, try to sneak in a hit or shove, and one will occasionally shout how she “hates her life.” But then, every once in a while, totally unprompted and seemingly “out of sight,” I will overhear the love, care, and affection they have for one another. One child will walk over the other who is crying, and she will give a hug and offer reassuring words. Or the two children will gleefully play with one another without arguing or fussing. Or best of all, I will hear them laughing pure, innocent laughs together. In these holy moments, they show me the light of God’s presence, and reveal their best qualities – that they are individuals full of love and compassion.
These last few weeks at our church, I feel like I have been able to see similar holy moments. We are preparing for our Annual Fall Festival, from which all the proceeds go to support local ministries. As we lead up to the event, I have seen countless tasks being done by parishioners: from making up food order forms and staffing tables for pre-orders, from cleaning out closets to pricing and sorting donations, from recruiting donations from local businesses to developing the silent auction booklet, from breaking down our worship space to setting up parking space. As the weeks and days have gotten closer to our festival, I have seen hard work, commitments of time, generosity of spirit, and joy in participation. Most of the work could go unnoticed; even those of us who volunteer do not always see all the other work that is happening somewhere else.
But today, I want to say, “I see you.” I see you, Hickory Neck, giving your cherished time to support the church. I see you, sharing in fellowship as you work together on projects. I see you, passionate about your neighbors in need and working a little bit harder. I see you in holy moments, individually and collectively, and I am so proud of you. Your laughter together is a sweet, sacred sound. Your labor is a witness to me and to our community of God’s abundant love for all. Well done, good and faithful servants! You are a blessing!!