Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sometimes It Just Ends Up Being A Good Day

The day began with a cool breeze, and a blue sky, and ended with the bright moon ahead of me.

In between I waited for a friend at what turned out to be the wrong coffee shop.  I'm still not sure where I went wrong.

I had a productive meeting with one of my church leaders in the late afternoon.  We were talking about planning a series of house meetings this fall, house meetings where people would be encouraged to share their faith values, and really explore what it would mean to be a congregation that makes a difference in the lives of our neighbors.  We already have at least four people who are interested in being a part of the planning for this. 

Like I said, sometimes, it just ends up being a good day.

Tonight was my church book club meeting.  We haven't met for a long time, and tonight we read and discussed The Madonnas of Leningrad, by Debra Dean.  (22).  Almost everyone was there, which felt so good after a long summer where we have often passed like ships in the night.

The August book was a short one, and rather elliptical, by which I mean, there are mysteries not ever explained.  But I think that is intentional, and not any reflection on a lack of skill.  The main chracter is an old Russian woman living in the United States named Marina.  She has Alzheimers disease, which is why I think the mysteries are somewhat intentional.  She does not remember much in her present day to day life, but she remembers vividly her life during the siege of Leningrad during World War II.  She worked in the museum there, and memorized all of the paintings that were taken down and stored. 

Sometimes she would give tours to older people and to cadets, tours where she would describe the paintings that no longer hung on the walls so vividly, the people thought they really could see them.

It's funny that though this book describes harsh and depressing realities, there is a hopeful and a beautiful quality to it:  maybe it is the visions of the paintings, and the imagination required to see beauty in the world even where there is great ugliness.  Maybe that is what hope really is.

Like I said, sometimes it just ends up being a good day.

Afterwards, I got email messages from two other people who think they are interested in our House Meeting strategy.  They're not sure, but they're intrigued.    Maybe if they close their eyes, they can imagine a faith community that really makes a difference in the lives of their neighbors.

It's been a busy summer, and sometimes a lonely summer. There have been a lot of funerals, a lot of them hard.  I've been missing a couple of colleagues who have retired.  They have not been replaced yet.  I'm behind in my reading (although I have done a little, and I'll try to report later on 23. In the Sanctuary of Outcasts, 24, On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet , and 25.
Things I Learned From Knitting.)  But tonight, I'm just watching the moon, and thinking, sometimes it just ends up being a good day.