Weekly Message from T. J.

To Be Home

It is so good to be home. I say this after traveling during what must have been some of the finest weather Washington, DC and Rochester, NY have any right to hope for. And still, when the evenings crept around, my poor toes were so cold. I spent a week trying to get warmer, though my visits with friends warmed my heart. And it is a blessing that I am enjoying being home because I’m going to be at home for quite some time…because I’m in quarantine.

Friends of mine and folks in this community have gone through the quarantine process, so I know it’s possible. I’m already on day four and kind of enjoying the peace of the time so far. I promise those of you waiting for an email reply that by today or tomorrow, you will have it. I’ve noticed quite an uptick in email since we have been meeting virtually. I think it’s totally natural and there’s nothing wrong with that. We are all looking at church now in very different ways and there have been a number of really good ideas coming to people as well as simply needing to get work done. And I know about getting work done.

I mentioned in a church-wide email that my trip was so that I would be able to surprise not one, but two different friends for their birthdays. Both of my friends’ partners helped them gently to schedule their work to have some free time without telling them why. And one of my friends was glad for the time off because he had roughly…let’s say…eleven things on his “to do” list for his days off he had planned, not knowing I’d be showing up.

But after arriving and catching up, it was clear that even though I’d arrived, he still had a lot of things he wanted to get done. So during my time away, I sanded and helped to paint a kitchen table and chairs, I helped to move a desk, dresser, and two matching hutches from his mom’s house to his house, I helped close the pool for the season, and generally helped out around the house. And all this time, my friend was managing which classes his children need to be in for online school. At one point I just said, “I didn’t realize everything a parent really has to do.” He just smiled and kept trying to detach hoses from the pool filter while “Don’t Stop Believin'” played on the portable outdoor speaker.

And it was ever more clear to me how much work it takes to keep a home going. It was plain to see how much time and attention goes into caring for those around you. It was evident in my aching muscles what it takes to keep a home fresh and filled with the labors of our hearts and bodies. And so reading this account of how a group of people did all of this for us the better part of a century ago, made me realize how good it really is to be home. 

After 25 Years: Silver Anniversary Recollections and Observations

With love and aloha,
Rev. T. J.

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