Though all love originates in God and is for that reason God's own love, yet we are permitted to catch and reflect back that love in such manner that it becomes our love indeed, in much the same way that sunlight reflected from the moon becomes moonlight. - A.W. Tozer

Monday, August 18, 2014

Preliminary Goodbyes

We are still in Missouri, but have already had our big farewell at church. We'll still be attending for these last few weeks, but we've officially handed off our Sunday responsibilities as it is getting more and more difficult to find things on Sunday morning amidst all the boxes and detritus of relocation.

Our farewell service/dinner was a lovely day, and everyone was very kind. We were able to tell the congregation what we'll be doing in the coming months (years?) and why. As always, they were very accepting. My children's church kids gave me flowers and cookies (The cookies may have all been eaten already. No admissions.)Then the church listened to our rambling, sang with us, prayed with us, and ate with us, because food seems to be a natural follow-up to emotional expenditure.

We had a baptism after the service, and it was a perfect picture of our little country church. We all gathered at the Pyle home, where there was a huge green field and a lovely pond, perfect for new life. Our pastor, who is game for anything, waded out into the fish pond, braving the nips of its hungry denizens. He lost a shoe to the cause, but there was no regret in his smile. Anything is worth the knowledge that two more people have decided to tell the world what they believe, and why.

Deerfield Baptist Church was one of the nicest things about living here these last three years. They accepted us into the fold at once, and we knew that we were at home with them. They treated us like family, and we did our best to return their kindness when we had the opportunity.  Of course, some jobs were easier than others.

Teaching children's church was not such a stretch, because I've taught young children since I was myself a child, but being the second-string piano player for this last year has been a challenge I did not know I would be facing. I've enjoyed it very much, although I can't speak for the poor, long-suffering parishoners who had to listen to me stumbling my way through the chords for all the songs I could find in the three keys with which I am familiar.

So many people - friends, neighbors, work colleagues, church family - have blessed our lives these past three years. If I could find a way to honor all of them, I would. As it is, I can only use my words. Thank you, thank you, for all your love and for who you are. God sees your love for others, and others see God's love through you. May you be blessed in the same measure that you have blessed our family.

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