Sometimes, life is hard. And life in community can be really hard. And things happen and people are difficult and our emotions and traditions and spirituality are all tied up in it all. And, more often than not, we neglect to tell people how much we appreciate them and how much they mean to us...until it's too late. Then they're gone and we're left telling an empty room or a hole in our hearts things we wish we had said earlier.
I am working really hard on telling people how great I think they are, how much I appreciate the time and energy and hard work they put in, how wonderful their attitudes and presence are. I'm also working really hard on holding people accountable when they aren't being great or when their attitude is hurtful to others--but that's actually a much harder and more intimidating task. I like positive reinforcement and put a lot of value on appreciation and love and hope.
Tonight I saw the church in action, with people caring for each other, doing the work of ministry, enjoying each others' company, listening and sharing and looking to a future of hope together. I also saw the wonder that is people appreciating each other and looking for ways to help one another out. And I felt so supported and held up and loved myself, too. So, elders and deacons and team members: thanks. I mean it. It's a joy to serve a church like this, even when things are tough, and especially when we are the church for one another. Awesome!