It Shouldn’t Work

I walked in the door this morning and little Down Syndrome Jan greeted me
enthusiastically.  Later when she saw Tim, she shouted his name loudly and practically knocked him over with a hug.  She always goes up with the little children for the Children’s Talk even though chronologically she is far from a little child.  Her voice is big and loud.  She answers questions whether or not the answer is exactly the one expected.

Then there is Frank, who has had a stroke and moves very slowly since one side of his body
does not respond to direction with ease.  He has clearly worked very hard to regain as much mobility as possible.  He puts the rest of us to shame with the determination that keeps him moving, coming out among people.  He and I kidded a bit with one another
before he entered the Nave.  There was Ron, around my age or a little older, struggling with health issues who surprised me with a hug as his care-giving wife Carol looked on.

David and Sara were there, severely hearing impaired.  They are as lovely a couple as could be imagined.  They have a cute little girl who was walking along side of David as they walked in together.  Sara along with David’s Mom alternate doing interpretation (signing) for those who are deaf or hard of hearing (the description they have suggested be used).

A few pews in front of me sat a 90 year old who is as feisty as she can be.  Her family helps her, but she seems to need little help.  She negotiates the walker with ease, just allowing others to help put it out of the way when she is situated in her spot in the pew.  There
were other people with walkers to be seen.

Then there is Katie who is in a very special wheelchair, having outgrown the last one now
that she is in the Teen years.  She doesn’t do words, but she has absolutely no problem communicating her thoughts and feelings.  Her eyes and her smile can melt your heart and just as easily communicate some smart-aleck unspoken comment, or for that matter her displeasure if things are not as she thinks they should be.  Her Mom and Dad and  Sister almost always keep a physical connection with her by rubbing her hand or touching her.

There are people who have battled and continue to battle mental illness, some who have
created a group setting that meets often enough to provide a safe place and healthy
experiences with others.  They gather in the Nave as peers, not care receivers.  They serve alongside others in the community.

There are people who have taken academic trails that have led to degrees of one sort or
another, medical doctors, PhD’s and people who have taken other trails to their goals.  There are workers in companies and owners of companies, people without jobs, who have lost their homes.  There are people mourning the death of a Loved One and people celebrating the birth of new Loved Ones.

I know enough of the people I saw this morning to know that there are folks on most sides of most issues, some verging on fanatically opposing sides of just about every social and political issue with polarizing potential.

There are people of differing shades of color of skin, hair, eyes and clothing, informally
dressed and more formally dressed.  The ages cover the spectrum.  There were little children everywhere around me, mostly situated in the back third of the Nave, providing a chorus of life-affirming sounds.  There were Teenagers to be seen scattered throughout the room.  There were widowed persons, single persons, divorced persons, some sitting with others, some sitting alone.

The number of descriptors that I could use exceeds the space I am willing to commit to
them.  Such a disparate collection of people should not hang together as a community.
They are too different.  It shouldn’t work.  It does work.  There were warm greetings shared among those gathered.  In some way or another they share the feeling that they come from one Source, a Someone who gives them life and loves them unconditionally.  They sing a common song to pick up a theme in a very well-spoken message today.  They are a community.  They belong to one another.

As I looked around the room this morning, I was first struck by those dealing with visually
apparent infirmities, then those whom I knew to have serious challenges whether or not they could be seen.  It just seemed to be a wonderful microcosm of the way we have been created to live.  It shouldn’t work, but it does.  I wonder if it could work outside that room.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s