Sunday, May 30, 2010
This was a historic weekend in the life of our church. For the first time in over 25 years, we gathered this weekend in a building that was debt-free. As part of the celebration we brought back the pastor who had the vision to build this building, and his son (who designed it as part of his first architectural project). They shared the doubts and struggles they had to overcome in order to build it, never knowing that 25 years later it would hold services on Saturday and Sunday in order to accommodate the number of people who want to worship there. Our current pastor and the original pastor held opposite sides of the note while our treasurer set fire to it, dropping the burning pieces into a tin pail to the applause of the congregation.
Later we gathered at a member's ranch for a pig roast, potluck, and cannonball shoot. The family has a tradition of shooting bowling balls out of a cannon into their pastureland each Memorial Day. I watched the festivities standing next to Barbara, who grew up in a little house just the other side of the canyon. She talked of riding a horse to school when she was 5 - something we'd never think of now. A large herd of elk typically grazed in a spot along her route to school, and in her 5-year-old mind she worried that the elk would attack her horse. Once she arrived at school there were 8 grades in one classroom served by a single teacher.
On the drive home after the picnic I was reflecting on the people I spent time with this weekend. The original church pastor, who planted seeds without knowing whether they would grow and thrive.... Barbara, who shared her stories of growing up in a remote and beautiful canyon.....
It struck me that we all have something in common with the pastor and Barbara. We all plant seeds - of encouragement, of hope - with each other on this site. Often in this "cyber-world" we never know how much that seed means to someone else, and how it helps them over the long term. And like Barbara, we all have stories. Although they may seem ordinary and boring to us, they aren't to other people. They are windows into different worlds, different times, different struggles - and sometimes windows into ourselves and what we can accomplish.
So thank you for sharing your seeds and your stories with me. They help me know you, and they help me know myself.