The Gift of Goodness -
In the congregation I was serving at the beginning of the year, I gave out star gifts on the Sunday before Epiphany as a way for them to be with the gifts of God for them in the coming year.
The star I picked (without seeing what was written upon it, which is the point of the Holy Spirit leading us to that which we most need) was "goodness". Great, I thought, somewhat sarcastically, now there's a hard one! I was thinking I would recieve one far more challenging. But this star gift of "goodness", was a reminder to me to look for the goodness that is everywhere and all around me every day.
I know I acknowledged the goodness of having an apartment to stay in while away from home, although, I struggle the whole time, with being away from home. I knew the goodness of coming home to stay!
This summer, I enjoyed the goodness of working in the garden, tending to our sick grey, the goodness of a cleaner house, the goodness of time with LH. Then there was the goodness of going to see my sister and being on Lake Michigan. The goodness of stopping by to see my niece and spend a wee bit of time together. I appreciated the goodness of an airconditioned van while driving in the heat and the goodness of an airconditioned home. The goodness of safe journeys and travel.
In an odd way, there was the goodness of my aunt's passing away. She was so ready to go for the past few years, had been longing for it, even within the mists of Alzheimer's. So, as sad as it was to lose my last aunt, there was goodness in her release. There was goodness in being to go
to Switzerland and to share what my aunt meant to me and my sister at her
Memorial Service. It was good to fly and be with my sister again, to see and be with my most of my cousins. I was graced with the goodness of spending a whole week with my closest cousin, to experience a part of Switzerland I had never been to, to share with one another the challenges and graces of our lives, to engage in deep spiritual conversations, to enjoy good food and a boccalino of wine as well as the beauty of lake and mountains.
Having to put down Jett was so very hard. The goodness was that he was
still with us when I returned home. The goodness was that he didn't have to suffer more than he did and love was there til the end.
There is goodness in this challenging interim that is so part-time and makes for some disjointed ministry, yet, there is time to read, to tend to our home, and do things.
Then there is the goodness of welcoming a new greyhound into our lives.
And that's when it hit me! Renoir is goodness, itself. All of our greyhounds have had a certain soul - Earl was without fear, stable, brave and giving. Baruch the Beagle was cute, but full of the dickens. Ben was a gentle, sweet soul. Jazz is our irrepressible soul. And now this one, Renoir, just plain goodness. Not one accident, did stairs, eats well, is quiet but curious, hasn't destroyed anything. Just pure goodness.
This year has been good, filled with goodness and it took a new greyhound with a good soul to point it out to me!!!
Oh, I may grouse about all the extra time I'm putting in for this interim, but it is good for me to serve again, challenging though it is.
My cup overflows with goodness, then surely mercy shall be with me all the days of my life. God has shone God's goodness in so many places in my life this year, many unexpected. And I am radiant with the goodness poured into my soul and spirit. What a gift to receive and be given this year. Thanks be to God!