A Perfect Day—to Help Out

A Year of Being Kind blog – Saturday, October 25, 2014

"Autumn--my very favorite color." -- Belle Oliver

“Autumn–my very favorite color.” — Belle Oliver

A Perfect Day—to Help Out

Today was the perfect day. Beautiful, sun-dappled October afternoon. Warm weather—perfect for shirtsleeves. Indian summer was the phrase that came to mind. Couldn’t imagine anything better.

My youngest daughter was in Chicago for the day, working at the restaurant where my oldest daughter is manager. At the last minute, my oldest daughter needed an extra pair of hands at the restaurant. Good thing her sister was available! Moreover, the reason I went into Chicago this afternoon.

Full disclosure: my husband does not particularly care to go into the city on the weekend. For years, he’s worked downtown during the week, so he prefers to be anywhere but the city when it’s his time off. Except, it was a particularly gorgeous afternoon, one of the very last until next spring—November being right around the corner. I wanted to know whether he’d be willing to come with me to pick up our daughter when she was done at the restaurant. Sure, he said.

Neither of us expected to see children trick-or-treating all up and down the street. Participating businesses had signs in their windows, stating that they welcomed trick-or-treaters. Mid-afternoon, temperate weather, sidewalks mobbed with people of all ages dressed in costume. Sure, mostly children, but also twenty-somethings, parents, even older people. As my husband and I walked to the restaurant, I commented on several adorable or remarkable costumes. My husband and I saw lots of princesses, some superheroes, spacemen, dragons, lions, pirates, and black cats.

I wonder whether some people wear their costumes on other days of the year. A few even all the time. Not necessarily fancy-dress costumes, but still in masquerade. Still putting on a part, not being real or genuine. Sure, some of it is protective, or amusing, defensive, or even unconscious. I thought these deep thoughts afterwards, not this afternoon. At the time, I was too busy enjoying the sights and sounds of the passing parade of people. As I think back on the afternoon, other than remembering the gorgeous weather, I wonder whether I might wear a costume sometimes. Just pretend. Whether I am less than genuine and real sometimes. If I am honest, I must admit that I do wear masks, I do wear a false face or costume sometimes. I hope it is less than I used to. God willing, I can try to do is to be honest and genuine, one day at a time.

This afternoon, my husband and I successfully retrieved our daughter, made our way back to the car, and wended our way home. My husband even encouraged me to take the long way, which pleased me. And, my daughter was overjoyed that she didn’t have to take the El all the way home. Altogether, a lovely, out-of-the-ordinary fall outing. And, an extraordinarily pleasant way of being helpful.

@chaplaineliza

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Helping One Another in Friendship and Prayer

A Year of Being Kind blog – Saturday, August 2, 2014

PRAY God's help a prayer away

Helping One Another in Friendship and Prayer

A lovely day! Perfectly gorgeous, with blue sky and temperature right around 80 degrees. Almost perfect summer’s day. Just what an August day ought to be. Errands and some computer work filled up a good part of the day.

I did some self-care today, too. I went to a yoga class this morning, and spent an hour and a half working hard. Stretching, bending, holding poses. A ton of work, too. Many of the people in the yoga class are much more accomplished, even eager to get down to some advanced poses. But my teacher? Wonderful, welcoming, kind. (All things I admire.) Yes, there is encouragement to strive to do our best, to even try to reach a little further, or to get a little more out of the stretch or bend. She presents the class in just the way I prefer it. One of my children has done yoga in high school, and tells me of certain teachers who are much more dictatorial. Not mine! I am very glad.

However, I didn’t spend this whole day concentrating just on me. I particularly want to mention a friend I ran into over coffee. (Actually, there was a little group of us, but I connected with one person in particular, today.)

As we talked, I found my friend and I had a similar concern. A prayer request. It was almost funny (ironic?) how closely our two prayer requests matched. Tracked with each other. Almost as if God meant for us to talk with each other today. Of course, I don’t put such things past God. Piece of cake for the Almighty! God can certainly manage such a minor, even miniscule thing like bringing two people together to encourage and support each other.

Similar to when I was at the conference two weeks ago. There were over seven hundred people at the campus in the Pennsylvania small town. Wouldn’t you know that I happened to run into several people? It almost seemed as if these meetings were by chance. But after a few of the “by chance” meetings, I finally figured out that God must be up to something. (Just like God may well have done—orchestrating “by chance” meetings and coordinating impromptu conversations.)

In the same way, I suspect God’s hand at work in the situation later today, too. What a marvelous thing, to have such a loving, kind, gracious God. And, I continue to pray about this continuing situation (actually, in both of these continuing situations=my friend’s and mine). God, thanks for listening to us when we pray. And meditate. And everything in between.

@chaplaineliza

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