After all the songs are sung
And our prayers for kingdom come
Did we bring honor to the words we sing?
Does our worship have hands? Does it have feet?
Does it stand up in the face of injustice?
Life has been zooming by, with my chief activity being taking photographs of families and couples in the beautiful Fall surroundings.
I got a package in the mail....
with a card from an old friend who knows me very well. In late September I'd posted on Facebook:
So to sum up my current situation, I've been burning the candle at both ends, with a couple of blowtorches, while simultaneously making a relief carving in the side, melting the middle through to try and make two candles, while precariously balanced on a tightrope over a roaring river. Note to self: Must make time to sleep.
This package was from my friend Cathleen, who is familiar with candle decimation protocols in her own right. It was half a Shreddies box, and contained five wonderfully smelling and tasting packages from David's Tea (two of which I've rather fallen in love with - Pumpkin Chai and Midsummer Night's Dream) and a few candles with special needs as well as a few with special abilities! Here's a few quotes from the card:
"#1 - A couple of candles without their wicks. These should challenge you to burn them at all, though I don't put it past you to find a way. Once you've got that figured out, I figured they should be thick enough to allow at least a little creativity when it comes to the relief carvings of their middles.
#2 - Once you've managed to decimate the first two candles, or perhaps if you need some beauty and peace while waiting and pondering just how you are going to battle my challenge #1, you've got a candle that you'd better not be burning from both ends. Blow torch or not, if I fnd that you've been melting glass just to try to prove me wrong you'd better believe there is going to be some butt kicking the next time I see you! And Paul, if I find out you are encouraging her, or just not telling me, you're going to get it too... no siding with your wife on this one. :)
#3 - A candle that stinks and is too pretty to burn anyway, that way you'll always have one in reserve should you come upon a day when you do really, really need it.
#4 and of course, tea, because as you well know, you can never have too much tea... especially while pondering candle buring or just putting your feet up and doing nothing (because that's really likely to happen)
If I thought you'd listen to the advice I'd suggest you stop with the whole candle burning, carving bit, but then I'd probably have to listen to my own advice, and, well, we know that's not happening either. So have a cup of tea on me, and take a moment to reflect on all the wonderful times we've shared. Love and hugs today, tomorrow, and always."
So Cathleen: I actually did burn the wickless candles at both ends - using a small butane torch we own. I videotaped the process for you. And luckily, the ridiculously nice smelling glassed-in candle actually came with the glass having broken en-route, giving me an out in your instructions that was never provided for - but I shall burn it from one end only and be content with it's sweet aroma. And the pretty candle is in my candle box, safely awaiting a day when it is needed. Your tea has been enjoyed daily since its arrival, and your gift smells sweeter than the candle.
This morning I walked over to the nearby Tim Horton's to breakfast with my extremely pregnant sister-in-law and talk about raising babies and families, and girl talk in general. On the way back I met two of Paul's classmates whom I also consider friends. It's cool living right by the university here. I also had the second person this week from the building introduce themselves in the elevator. I now have acquaintance neighbors two doors down and three floors up, which is pretty cool.
Today Paul and I went to Burrito Libre, one of our favourite Mexican restaurants here, for their Free Burrito day. Free burritos are, perhaps, even more delicious than properly paid for burritos. Afterwards, something happened that made me feel reflective.
On our way back home we met a kid walking down the street who asked if we had change because he was really hungry - I actually didn't have any, but I got the sense that he was for real. I'm pretty good at reading people, and after seeing some of the cons in both Edmonton and Saskatoon for pandhandling and meeting one or two that were definitely for real, you really do get a sense of when people are actually asking for help and don't have any practice at it. A practiced person will grovel a bit, will look you in the eye. A person who is doing it for the first time will be quiet, hard to hear, embarrassed, and there's a look of lostness in their eyes that you just can't replicate. I had a thought and told him about free burrito day, and he said he thought it was just for students, and when I said no, that it was for everyone, he looked genuinely relieved and then smiled a small smile and thanked us, and took off down the street. We hope the chatty lady at the Salvation Army booth might have chatted him up - if we'd thought of it fast enough we might have told him to ask her for some food too since they were collecting it. Paul said he didn't know why people didn't know where to go for food, and we were talking about how some people don't necessarily know that help is out there, or where to look for it. Maybe they didn't grow up knowing about what the food bank does, or what they need to do to qualify for it. Maybe they think they're unworthy of help or would be turned down for some reason. Maybe "the system" hasn't been kind to them - it often isn't. Maybe they're just afraid. And the one thing they've probably witnessed, and know can work, is just asking strangers for help. It occurs to me that I often feel kind of helpless in these situations, and they happen to me at least once every few months, but I think if I meet another truly hungry soul like that again I'm going to take some time, buy them some food and maybe keep them company. Becoming the hands and feet of Christ involves taking opportunities to feed the hungry, not just send them down the street. I guess I at least did something, but I feel like it wasn't quite enough. Next time, Lord, send me. I've been listening to a couple of songs about worship, and worshipping in song more often than I have for a while. There's a growing yearning in my heart to be more of a servant. I am curious where it will lead me.
Today's most memorable artistic accomplishment - my first relief carving pumpkin. I've been meaning to do one of these for years. As I was at Sobeys today picking up a few necessities, I happened to glance into the giant cardboard box of pumpkins that all grocery stores seem to have these days, and I saw the cutest tall pumpkin you ever did see. It seemed like it had promise and weighed just enough to only cost me $5, so I brought it home with visions of a simple but compelling carving and decided that despite all the work I have to do, it was time to take a break and do something artistically soul-filling. I looked up a few coloring book pages online then did a freehand drawing of a cute little knight and used one of our very sharp Henkels knives to carve my knight in shining-through-the-pumpkin armour. He's not perfect, but he makes me smile, and he'll be a nice decoration for our turkey dinner tomorrow - we're having a final Thanksgiving feast with our Edmonton family before the baby comes. Hopefully. =) Can't believe I'm about to officially become an Auntie. It's quite an adventure to think about, having a little person to love around...
Choir tonight was really... edifying. I love the songs we're singing in choir, and take a great deal of joy in worshiping with others in choir. I am really enjoying the music we sing there.
Does our worship bow down?
Does it run deep?
Is it more than a song that fades with our voices?
Does it fade with our voices?