Sunday, February 29, 2004


"I come to the garden alone..."

That's how the first hymn we sang in church today starts. I thought of that after church as we sat down to a pot luck lunch. I'm adhering to my lenten fast which eliminates almost every known form of Baptist cuisine.

The garden crossed my mind as I snagged a few carrots, a little fruit, and some salad. Meanwhile my friend Sam proudly engorged himself on pies and cakes.*

I went to church alone again today.

Amy's making some progress, but it's slow at best.

Instead of sitting alone during the service, my very young friend Chloe asked to join me. I've known Chloe for more than half of her life and, although she's a fidgety kid, she's always been a source of joy to me.

She fidgeted some today...untying and re-lacing her shoes during the sermon, but each time we prayed she grabbed my hand and we bowed our heads together.

Today Chloe was again a source of joy...and a source of comfort.

"And He walks with me, and He talks with me..."

I originally hadn't planned on staying for the after service meal, but another young friend, Erin, was present too. In the flesh, not simply in our prayers. Erin has recently returned after spending the past year learning about God and herself in China. This is the first time our congregation has seen her since she's been back. Oddly enough I've probably grown to know Erin better via blogs and email over this past year than when we worshipped together in the same building.

Erin and I ate together and had a good visit. She was able to speak with Amy on the phone for a few minutes as well.

As we talked we both marveled at Sam's ability to rationalize eating habits normally reserved for contestants on "Survivor."

I came to church alone today.

During our meal, my food choices were indeed limited.

Yet I left church today feeling nourished.

"And the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known."

*Sam...Sorry, couldn't resist...sort of like you felt with the pies...and the cakes...and the donuts.