Almost Day Off – Friday, March 5


Today I am making chicken and vegetable soup. As I’m cutting up onions, garlic and celery I begin to pray for those in our congregation who are sick, in rehab and recovering. It is a long list so I as I chop, I take time to pray for them. The chicken goes in next, sautéing it my prayer continues. This prayer has not been planned. It is quiet and early morning and it just comes. Chopping carrots and a potato I remember the time I was served a cooked potato by a United Methodist pastor high up in a poor area of the hill country in the Philippines and pray for healing for our global United Methodist Church. The last ingredient is the juice of a lemon then the spices – an herbal blend, salt and bay leaves. I pray for our family who will eat this soup, for the joy of a new baby and the expectation that next week’s surgery will bring our daughter, Julie’s, cancer journey closer to completion.

While the soup simmers, I remember my sweet mother, who died eight years ago yesterday, March 4, 2013, and is still missed. My tears are not from onion chopping although the smell of them still lingers on my hands. I’m suddenly praying in thanksgiving for her, for my brothers and sister and their families. Next I will make sun tea, putting seven tea bags in the large jar and setting it outside in the sun. As I do that I wonder how many boxes of tea bags I’ve gone through this last year. Several, even many, and pray for an end to the pandemic and for those suffering and serving.

A little later I will make peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, “Nana cookies,” for family we may see this weekend. They are best right out of the oven so perhaps I’ll only make a dozen or two today and save the rest of the batter. I will write this article, praying for all of you as I do that, in gratitude for your kind wishes, your loving support, and for my own sorrow and joy in my June 30 retirement. I expect I will be praying for the rest of my life in thanksgiving for you and the privilege of serving Christ with you.

Then I will write and answer a few emails and make a phone call or two, checking up on people. Later we will go for a hike and then sit a while, I imagine. Perhaps today will be a day when prayer is spread out through the day, praying each time I think of one of you, or our community or world.

The soup simmers and smells so bountiful, like life itself. Praise God!

Blessings, Sharon

Reminders: Come at 9 a.m. on Sundays, March 7, 14, 21 for drive-in worship in the south parking lot. Live music and preaching, with Holy Communion this Sunday, March 7.

No “Coffee with the Pastor” this Sunday, March 7, but it resumes at 11 a.m. on Sundays, March 14 and 21 via Zoom. Watch for the link in next week’s Friday message.