The first Sunday Morning that I walked through the doors of Christ Church New Brick, it was with my newly widowed Mother and her nurse, Adeline. My Dad had died just months earlier from a sudden heart attack. My Mother struggled with deep grief, shock, and a cruelly-progressing vascular dementia. My Mother was a Canadian cradle Anglican and she and my Dad raised me, their only child, in the Episcopal Church in New York City. In my adulthood I had grown into something of a lapsed Episcopalian but after my Dad's death I determined that my Mother needed her church and that landed us in front row, New Brick, for our first Sunday service at Christ Church. Richard Ginnever was Rector. My Mother loved him immediately and my Mother loved her God and throughout all the Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m., for the final three years of her life, she found peace and hope and love at Christ Church. After my Mother's passing I took her home to New York City and Trinity Church Wall Street, which was my Mother and Dad's home church. Father Richard served as celebrant at my Mother's Requiem Eucharist, and I knew it was as all as it was meant to be.
I could never have imagined at the time that less than a decade later Father Richard would preside over my husband, Vince's, funeral at Christ Church. I will never be able to begin to adequately express the true depth of my gratefulness for his presence. I have no idea on this earth how my family and I would have survived those days without him. It was Mother's Day weekend at the time of my husband's heart attack and Richard stood by us and with us and prayed for us and with us throughout the toughest decisions of my life. Father Richard was in the middle of a deeply difficult time of his own but he never faltered in his care for us. He didn't leave our side.
Love, God's unfailing constant love for is, in us, through us, is His light and always available to us in this world to hold, to share, to give away.
When you give someone a place in front of you in the Giant checkout line just because that person looks like they need to be there more than you do; when you step up and take the hand of someone who looks like they need a little steadying; when you rejoice in your children's and your grandchildren's little successes and big successes, and when you are willing to just quietly be there by their side when life's moments aren't so easy for them; stop for a moment and know, most certainly, that you are the messenger. Your caring and your love in those simple moments, and in the most crushingly difficult moments, or in the greatest and most joyful moments, your caring and your love and your stepping-up is, very much, your allowing yourself to be God's messenger in another person's life, if only for that moment in time. "Love One Another As I Have Loved You."
A love so unfailing, so pure and so selfless and so total that Christ died an unthinkable, tortured death on a cross for me in my place.
It's pretty hard to go through the days of Lent and not re-imagine love!
It's impossible to go through the days of lent and not remember and be thankful for the times in our own lives when we have personally experienced God's love, when you have most needed to, through the caring and faith and love of another person.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for being Love in this world!
Love, Re-imagined! May we each be willing to be God's hands, God's feet, God's heart, God's eyes, and God's ears in this life.