Sunday, October 12, 2008

Warm Sunshine – New Friends – And a Wee Bit of Guilt

We were bathed in sunshine for the entire day. At first the grass was wet as we set up the awning that would cover our display table. Then everything was perfect. A perfect afternoon to meet people…dozens of them from all kinds of places across Ontario… came by to talk to us.

It was a warm Saturday in a large backyard of our new friend Charlie. Charlie is a fellow wood carver that has added some spunk to our area with is carvings. He has also stepped on a few toes from what I hear. With his flashy van paint job – actually a photo mural – he has kind of moved outside of the norm around him. In Peterborough that can mess up the balance.

Charlie is my new friend. I like him. He likes people too and for that reason his patrons do come to support him, buying his carvings and asking advice.

I love people as well. And to be able to do this with no strings attached, no ulterior motive, no hang ups – was simply wonderful. It is a new world for me. Maybe it is all in my head – but people seem different now… .

The man with the recent operation for a brain tumor was great. He had a hard time getting some words to describe what he carved. But together we enjoyed the common interest. He sent me photos of his wood carvings when I got home. A new friend for sure.

The lady with the broken foot hobbled over the uneven ground to talk. She was alone. She broke her foot last Christmas day and has had much difficulty since that time. It was a good but short talk. My guess is that she is a lonely lady that talks to few.

The young blind lady that arrived in the really fancy new BMW impressed me the most. Or maybe I should say her husband impressed me a whole lot. He guided her over to the display table and then described the things on the table as she picked them up to feel each one. Her admiration for what she “saw” was so rewarding. She said with awe, “Oh wow… that is so beautiful! How did you ever do that?” He fingers traced the things she was “looking at”.

The couple from the place south of Lake Ontario, near Niagara Falls, stopped by to just meet some local artists. They have bought a huge home not far from here and are retiring soon. They were connecting with their community. He is a fireman and she is a nurse. They love the area and want to connect again.

Now I see how Charlie does it. He loves people and they come. Many have never met him before – but leave as his friends… and mine too.

Two men left me a little envious. They carve wood but not much here in Ontario.

One of them heads south to Texas each winter – where he sits and enjoys the beach area, the warm water and the friendly people – while he takes carving classes.

The other guy heads further west and spends his whole winter in Phoenix, Arizona area. They have a place too where it is warm and dry all winter. In the place he is at they have 300 wood carvers meeting for a carving session each week.

I have lived here for 10 years and have never met any of these people. They live not far from our church, where I used to serve as the pastor. I was so busy working with church people that these folks just were not in my life – or even close to it. I missed this “meeting new people”…very much.

Our Weekend…
It is Thanksgiving Weekend in Canada… a holiday weekend with Monday off. We will eat hearty and enjoy each other’s company. But this is new for me. After many years of trying to get a new sermon for this traditional weekend – something new and different to keep people awake… I didn’t have to stress it – at all.

It was last night that I almost felt guilty…almost. Then a wave of relief swept over me as I thought… “I don’t have to preach tomorrow! WOW!” What a wave of joy swept over me…! No stress…none at all. I felt a small wave of guilt that slipped in to bug me…but that evaporated as my thoughts returned to the blind lady, the man with the tumor operation and the lonely lady with the broken foot. They were on my heart again after the day in the yard.

BTW – We head back to help Charlie again today – back to his yard to carve and meet people. It is part of my new, “soon-to-arrive-and-be-announced” business of wood carving.

Today on my “not-needing-to-preach-weekend” - I will think of my fellow pastors trying to keep their hungry congregants awake for the last hour before lunch. The sun is shinning again today from all reports…and I expect to meet a whole flock of new people. I will also think of my fellow pastors at about 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM as they step up to work at it again. Bless you richly Guys and Gals!

BTW#2 If you are in the area… come to Bridgenorth… just north of Tim Hortons there is “Woodchuk Charlie’s” carving shop – a house with a big backyard… You can access the yard by the back street – the same one that Chemong Lodge is on… DROP BY and spin a yarn with us. I would love to hear what your minister preached about today…

~ Murray Lincoln ~
Happy Thanksgiving Sunday!

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