Monday, 14 May 2012


There are times when I really struggle to find something to say that's worth saying. Sometimes I go to breakfast and sit with strangers or friends and say about 12 words in total. Sometimes I wonder what people think as I'm there beside them but not saying much. It's not that I'm not thinking about something or that I don't have questions for them so much as I enjoy listening and quietness more and more with each passing year.
But it's also that I want to say things that are worth being said. I think that is magnified on a blog post in that it isn't just the mumbo jumbo that escapes my mouth but actual words are chosen and written become part of the text of the online world. When we write or create we are adding to the collective story-telling of humankind.
Does the thing I make/write/express mean something in itself or does it have meaning just because it was created? Today I'm choosing 'it means something to me'. Here's a story about gifts:

Every Sunday our morning worship is full of unknowns for me. Will I get a seat where I can see the words of the songs projected or will I have to go from memory and flub most of the words of certain songs we sing? Will the kids behave in service? Will I understand the sermon? Will one of my friends get up on stage and do a solo for the Lord? How many people will accept Jesus this week? Will that old lady two rows up fall asleep again in service? And when she does will her friend be her pillow or her alarm clock?
Those are just a few of the questions. But there's another wild-card. A man named Zo. He is incredibly tall and so very thin. I am sure he is essentially homeless and on some occasions arrives at church looking as if he hasn't had a bath in 3 weeks. It is said he struggles with an addiction. He has a big toothy grin and large calloused hands. He usually situates himself near the head of the mission's family. He often keeps a watchful eye on newcomers and welcomes them warmly, bending down to greet them. He keeps tabs on the children too and if they act up he will correct them (which sometimes scares them to tears if we're honest here). Zo also has a habit of bringing gifts of fruit to church to give to North American staff. I have seen him give fruit to the heads of the mission repeatedly. I find it interesting and wonder what his thought process is - I wonder if it is a conscious tithe for him. I wonder how he buys these gifts and what the cost is for a man who looks as if he eats only once in a while. I really don't know his story but I do see on his face the care he takes in presenting a gift each Sunday to the honoured recipient.
I was away recently (at home for Grampa's funeral and to have some time with family) and when I returned it was with very mixed feelings. I found leaving Canada at the end of April to be more difficult than ever. Two days later I walked down to church at the mission with hopes for some good worship and determination to focus on the message from the pastor. During our time of greeting each other (Happy Sunday, God Bless You) part of the service someone touched my elbow. Turning around I was presented with a small pineapple wrapped in a plastic bag. I was shocked. Zo had chosen me that morning for his gift. Even now I am humbled and speechless. At the time I thanked him and shook his hand. At the time I didn't know what to say except 'I got Zo's pineapple'.
To me this meant so many things. Most importantly it means that I am known. Not by Zo, he doesn't know me except for Sunday morning worship service. No, I am known by my Heavenly Father. It is He who gives every good and perfect gift. That was His pineapple. That was His child who gave it to me - me His other child in need of encouragement.
Some things that I write are just written things. This is truth: He does not forget, forsake, overlook or ignore us. He showers us with gifts like life and love and sun and rain and precious precious little pineapples.