When people remember this year, they will highlight the past few months. Their talk will be filled with the details of their losses, how the chaos changed their lives, and how long it will take to rebuild. Maybe a few will remember a year filled with other details. In their stories, you will find the normal events of living, from births through marriages and even a few deaths. For most, it will only be in the footnotes, that you will discover where they spent most of their time.
As overwhelming as the economic chaos is on all of us, I will remember this year for very different reasons. Even as I begin to think about the big stuff, I find myself in tears because of the miracles that touched my life. I have been given a fresh start without a tumor in my brain. On top of that, friends blessed me, including those I never imagined touching my life. They extended a word when I desperately needed it. They stood by me when it was not popular or advantages. They pushed me upwards towards something better. Life unfolded in chaotic, stressful, and even painful ways. I find myself richer in every way because of the experience.
As I look forward in context of the present, I find myself again looking to friends. It is in community that we can see the moment at hand. It is with others that we begin to understand the gifts Divinity leaves with us. It is in walking together, doing stuff, and being in relationship that we see the details for our purpose and mission.
It feels like I am the first to make this discovery, but stories tell of others before me. “Barnabas went on to Tarsus to look for Saul. He found him and brought him back to Antioch.” (Acts 11.25) He knew he needed to work with a friend, to walk along side for a while if he was going to be successful. Life is always like that; we work best when we are working together.