This Week at Trinity, Beamsville
Friday, July 30, 2021
This week I’ve been sporting some t-shirts around town that, this time last year, would not have been on my radar of choices, let alone something I’d wear beyond the garden. For context, I’m not a t-shirt person; just never have been. I think it’s the collar style, maybe the fabric. That’s immaterial (sorry, couldn’t resist). Whatever the superficial reasons, they were set aside for the chance to have some intentional messaging on my back, and I’ve settled into the new slice of wardrobe.
Rest assured, there’s nothing revolutionary about these fashion statements. “Kind people are my kind of people” and “Human Kind” (printed in an array of human flesh tones) are some of what I’ve chosen. For those who know me, the most shocking part is that they aren’t blue or floral – and yet they’ve become a 2021 summer staple because, to be blunt, I’m worried about what may have been collectively forgotten. I have no scientific data, just observation in the world, but it alone reveals that, for some, this long, long stretch of limited interaction has dulled memories for manners; for basic awareness of others and the great power of respect, kindness and care. Thankfully, for others, this time apart has heightened appreciation for friends as much as strangers, and generous actions are overflowing. One can only hope the latter begins to influence the former, and we can grow together into the communities we want to reclaim, or refresh, or even reconstruct.
When we enter this next cycle of the summer worship series, it won’t be in direct connection to human interaction. By that, I mean that our focus on Psalm 23 and its living call to be thankful is generally about thanking God… but you know as well as I that we can’t separate our offering of thanks to and for the Creator from offering thanks to and for one another. Holy gifts are poured out in an incredible array of people and moments, and our ability, our choice to recognize them and then express gratitude for them is a core part of holy manners. This isn’t a conversation about etiquette but about living faith; living expressions of who we claim to be, and who God claims us to be, as beloved, in a global community of beloveds.
So, all that said, I’m off to the Port Colborne market in a little while, for my first time back in that Friday morning space since 1995. I imagine things have changed a bit, and I imagine the pandemic has changed even more, but I’m still keen to get there; and yes, I’ve decided to wear one of the new favourite t-shirts. Today, I’m opting for the orangey-brown, with the subtle white script on the right shoulder. “forever optimistic”, it says. I hope I am. I hope we all are. May my messaging match my actions, and may I remember my manners out there.
With love to you all,
“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.”
(Meister Eckhart, c. 1260-c.1328)