This week at our Chapel staff meeting we engaged in an interesting and unique (for our staff meetings) exercise. We were asked to spend some time looking at the words and illustrations in a children’s book, and to point out things we observed. The longer we all looked at each poignant image, the more detail we all saw. Things we would have missed came into our conscience. It was a beautiful exercise that allowed us to experience the value of slowing down and noticing.
Speaking of slowing down and noticing… Have you tasted the coffee at Snowmass Chapel lately? If you’ve been lucky enough to fill your cup here on a crisp Sunday morning under golden leaves, flavors of Pumpkin Spice and something like Autumn Cinnamon have likely been a delicious and appreciated surprise. That’s because our thoughtful and dedicated Mark Breen has taken it upon himself to up our coffee game. Wow. What a way to love people warmly and well. Thank you Mark! When we slow down, we notice that Love (with a capital “L”) is in the details.
But also, it’s not. Jesus shows us in the Bible that there are certain things he does slow down to notice, and other things he doesn’t. I am struck by the fact that in story after story, Jesus notices when people need help, need healing, need mercy, need forgiveness, need food, need drink (wine for the party, for goodness sake!). He doesn’t dig too deep into transgressions, misdeeds, judgement, and all the various ways they (okay, we) sin. He meets the woman at the well and says, “Yes, I know you’ve lived with 5 men, none of whom are your husband, but, moving on, have some of my living water!” I’m calling this Jesus’ example of “Loving Well,” and allowing us the compassion to feel “Well Loved.” Jesus focuses on the details of what he – what Love – has to offer.
Did you know that Barb Wilson and Debbie Shore have faithfully shown up for our Chapel kids with crafts and lessons (for years!!) all summer long? What an offering! Debbie and Barb, man, you Love Well. Thank you.
Then there is Paul Dankers and his weekly trips to Costco. He fills his basket with all the good stuff, then showers others with nourishment and kindness as he makes his rounds with purchases for friends, the elderly, and the housebound. Paul, wow, you Love Well. Thank you.
There’s a tattooed electrician named Mike, with big muscles and lots of ink, who has been helping out with some Chapel projects these last few months. Darned if he doesn’t arrive once a week with jars of fresh, homemade, canned preserves for our staff. “I make them myself,” he says proudly, extending a small jar with huge arms. Mike, what a gift. You Love Well. Thank you.
If God is Love, like the Bible says, then Love is so big and so powerful and so omnipresent that Love is incomprehensible. Love is macro. But even the macro is composed of the micro. Love starts small. Cup by cup, lesson by lesson, delivery by delivery, jar by jar. It’s one-on-one, until it’s so big and so powerful that it’s God him/herself.
Love is fancy pumpkin spice over the same ol’ cup o’ Joe. It’s fresh preserves delivered just for you. It’s anointing feet with the spendy perfume (John 12:3), giving the lady at the well the time of day (John 4), putting the person who needs healing above the laws of the Sabbath (John 5). I pray for each of us today, that you slow down and notice how Well Loved you are, and that you, in turn, offer up your micro acts to love others well too. Love is in the details. But also, remember, it’s not. See you at the Well.