Monday Musings for 6.1.20
I have a friend in Salem, Oregon who also sends something once a week. Hers is a blog. Mine would be a blog if I knew how to do that. I barely know e-mail, so that is what I use. Mine goes out to just a handful of you. If I go over a hundred, I violate google rules and they all bounce back to me. Hers go out to many, many more. And hers is also much better. Other than that, they are pretty much the same.
Her name is Cesie Delve Scheuermann. I’m pretty sure she can send to more than a hundred and I’ll bet she’d love to add you to her list. Just write to her at this e-mail: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
She wrote last week about the sign she and her husband, Tom, had in front of their house that they have finally taken down. It was a simple white board. They put it up early in the “stay at home” chapter of our lives, back when we didn’t think it would last long. The sign would announce the day of the week — “It’s Tuesday!” or “It’s Saturday!” People were getting confused as to what day it was. They would also add tally marks on the bottom to count the number of, “Days we’ve been in this journey together.” And in the middle there would be a short message, sometimes silly, sometimes serious, always eye-catching.
It caught a lot of eyes. Cesie noticed because she could see the sign from her work desk. Walkers would stop and read it. Cars would pull over. People would take pictures. When sitting on the front porch, people would thank her for the sign. She even got an anonymous note: “Your kind words are rays of sunshine to us all during this dark time . . . keep spreading the joy!”
Here is the part of her story that brought a tear to my eye and prompted me to get her permission to share it with you:
Most poignant was a Sunday conversation I had with a stranger. She walked by with her French bulldog and read: “Imagine . . . riding a Ferris wheel, licking an ice cream cone, hopping like a kangaroo.” She laughed at the words and then proceeded to tell me — from the sidewalk to my front porch — that she was not doing well with the pandemic. She was a teacher who missed the interaction with her students. And then she started to cry. She kept saying, “I can’t believe I’m crying to a stranger!” And I kept saying, “There’s no shame. It’s understandable.” As she was walking away, I asked her if it was OK if my Tuesday night church book group could pray for her — and she replied, “Oh yes, please do.”
That was the day I realized that this sign — which had originally been done just for fun — had become a small ministry . . . our Stay-in-Place ministry.
Have you found your “Stay-in-Place ministry”?
Maybe it’s easier now that the restrictions are easing, but maybe not. Cesie’s story reminds me that when times get hard, the ways to minister to hurting people multiply. As she says, “If there is no sunshine, you be the sunshine.”