Monday, December 14, 2009

The Clementine

Sunday morning was gray and cold. We were loading the timpani in the rain, in the dark, as Warren had an early morning rehearsal for a church service he was playing. I started laughing as we grew soggy; life really is never, ever dull around Warren.

We were both quiet on the 30 minute drive to Columbus. Warren admitted he was thinking of music - of the service that morning, of the Symphony's holiday concerts that afternoon. My mind was on…everything. Sam, work, baking, the legal clinic this Tuesday, the medical bills still lingering from Dr. Bully running roughshod over my medical care and my budget last July, this Tuesday's appointment at long last with my oncologist, Ben's birthday midweek, Montana, our not having any Christmas decorations out let alone up, the concerts later that day.


The church Warren was playing at was Maple Grove Methodist, where he always plays for the Easter services. I have written about Maple Grove before. I like the minister there. I like the feel of the church. It is very oriented to service - not just within its congregation but also within its community.

I like that. I always come away from a Maple Grover church service feeling cared for and uplifted.

Yesterday was no exception. A line in one of the offered prayers caught my ear: "Help us remember you do not ask us to heal everything, but rather simply find a way in which we may lighten someone's burden."

I liked that line. I wrote it down on a Mini-Methodist Doodle Pad with a pencil, both of which I borrowed from the children's corner.

Reverend Croy's sermon that morning was on living the repentant life. He spoke about John the Baptist's message to early followers. "Share. That's what he first told them to do. If you have, give. The repentant life is as simple as sharing a coat or a meal."

I carried those words out of church and back to Delaware and through two holiday concerts (really wonderful, excellent, superb holiday concerts) and through two more hours of breaking down the stage and hauling instruments back to our house. I thought about them this morning as I started my day.

They were still on my mind when, walking back home after my Monday morning walk with my friend Patricia, I heard someone shout my name. It was Ruth, who is Cora's mother, Cora being a friend of Ben's for the last 16 years and a young woman whom I have had the extreme pleasure and honor to know and watch grow up over those years.

I have known Ruth for 16 years as well and always enjoy talking with her, even though our lives don't often intersect. Today we talked (me standing in the street, Ruth with her car window rolled down) for 15 minutes about Cora, about Ben, about ourselves, about Life. We laughed, we sighed, we shared ourselves.

Reaching for a notepad to write the title of this blog down, Ruth pulled a small orange sphere out of her purse instead. "Here," she said, handing it to me through her car window as she continued to scrabble for the notepad, "have a clementine." We were talking about sharing, about how so many women write blogs because we like to share.

Ruth sharing her fruit was automatic and effortless. I laughed and told her I would blog about the clementine.

We went our separate ways and I walked the remaining two blogs to the house. I thought back to the sermon yesterday.

Share. If you have, give.

Ruth did that for me this morning. She shared, she gave. Not just a clementine, but her thoughts, her friendship, her warmth.

I came away uplifted.


Ellen said...

That's exactly why I blog! Thanks for being my friend.

Sharon said...

I smiled when you said you were thinking of everything...and then you listed it! It sounds so familiar...I LOVE when I get to take something away from me from church, a real ephiphany, so to speak! Thanks for sharing yours!