I am spending the weekend in Nashville with my mom while she participates in the recording with the Tennessee Women’s Chorale. Basically, I get to catch up with some friends while she is in rehearsal and sessions.
I laughed as we pulled in the parking lot of our hotel last night because a Panera was across the street. Panera is my home away from home. I meet young women there to disciple them several mornings a week. I meet Melba, who mentors me, at Panera a few times a month. Maybe it is the small town part of me, or maybe it’s the need to be known in all of us, but I love the fact that people there know me and know my order before I even open my mouth. I love looking around the room at 7 am and seeing the same people there–in Bible study, reading their paper, meeting with a mentor. Because my job isolates me from a regular office place everyday, it is good to have some sort of consistency in interacting with people outside of the ones I minister to.
So, as I awoke much earlier than my mother, I dressed in the dark and hiked across the street to find a nook and feel at home with my whole grain bagel, coffee, Bible and computer. At home even though I did not know a soul.
On a side note…last night, my mom and I got to spend time with my “Uncle Henry.” He is living in a retirement home and is in his mid to late 80s. He and his wife, now deceased, worked with my parents early on in their time of ministry, and they became very close with our family. They never had children, but they loved our family as their own (thus the Uncle Henry and Aunt Doris monikers). Every time I spend time with someone who is getting frail with age and sickness, I think of my dad and remember how hard it was the last few years of his life. I also thought of him as he and Uncle Henry were good friends and possessed the same kind of gentleness and care for people. It was good to visit, hug and love on him especially the weekend of my dad’s birthday. He said something last night for which we all need to be reminded. He said that he’s never seen it work for people who keep trying to accumulate wealth and material possessions. Trying to find meaning in that and spending time on that as the goal is empty. As I thought on that, I pondered how most of us find ourselves at the end of life alone and in need (no matter how “much” we’ve accumulated). I tend to think a lot, as you know. Anytime I am in an assisted living or retirement home, etc., I think of when that will be me. I hope that I invest well in others loving, caring and sharing and will not get caught in the trappings of this life. I pray that I will live for the hope and purpose I have in Jesus Christ and nothing else. I also pray that I not rush forward to think about tomorrow but today.