Have you ever counted all the people over the course of your life who have sown gifts into your life?
All day I’ve been remembering the names of all those folks–my parents, seriously flawed but giving life, wisdom, care, and love in the ways they could, my sisters and brother, sharing life in our family, my teachers, nuns mostly, who taught me to dream, to pray, to sing, to love music and art, and who, in the ways they understood, helped me to experience God’s presence in my life.
There were my friends in high school, who I have never seen again but come to my mind for no clear reason, so I pray for them. The Conservative Rabbi, Yakov Hilsenrath, who asked me babysit his children while he and his wife went to service, and who taught me about honor, faithfulness, and Judaism as I sat in his home, and read, listened to Jewish music, and talked to his children. I found out just last year that he was a child of concentration camp survivors. The Maestro and the Preachers, who shared their talents, wisdom, and skills with all of us left me with a love for music, God, and the Truth.
Then there were all those folks who befriended me after I left home, the families–black, white, Italian, Polish, Greek, and Latino–who shared their lives with me, who fed me regularly, when I could not afford to eat on my own, and who loved me in every-day ways. My wonderful cousins, raised with solid loving and community values, have shared their lives even in the tough times, and extended love, support, and fellowship in countless ordinary ways.
My Faith Communities over the years, and Christian Life Assembly, my covenant community, have supported, loved, nurtured, admonished, and encouraged me through my journey to you, and have given me a family and opportunities to grow and mature in wisdom, grace, and loving understanding. The memories of folks who have poured into my life and who have blessed me and who continue to bless my life are endless! Yes, Father, you have blessed me abundantly. Thank you!
Father, help all of us, who have been abundantly blessed and nurtured by your love and the love of countless ordinary folks in our own lives, to gratefully and reverently pass that love and care on to everyone you bring to us! Amen