I learned in seminary MANY years ago that the word Credo (usually translated I believe) is better translated “I put my trust in…” This Christmas I have once again become a “believer”, though not in the Macy’s sense of belieiving in Santa, and have again put my trust in my fellow human beings.
What, I hear you gasp, after killings is Newtown, CN and in Webster, NY? (The Webster site, by the way, is about 2 miles from members of our extended family) How can you?
It depends really on what you want to look for, or look at. If you were at the Christmas Eve service at St Paul’s Jeffersonville we had a wonderful group, with a wonderful spirit, were engaged with one another before, during and after the liturgy. We welcomed strangers and greeted friends – some whom we had not seen in a while. If you looked into the community there we a number of Blue Christmas or Longest Night services to provide services and support to those who were suffering the effects of fear, grief, loss and feeling alone.
In a restaurant I heard a man leaving the table of his Company Christmas lunch, pay for the bill for a family sitting near them. Several people knowing that Nancy and I were having our first empty nest Christmas asked us to join them for Christmas. We could only accept one invitation but each and all invitations of caring were greatly appreciated.
St Paul’s which announced our Pipe Organ project December 16th and established ourselves on the crowd-funding site a week ago has received a number of donations, and some pledges even amidst the bustle leading up to Christmas Day. (See www.gofundme.com/weve-seen-fire-rain) In the newspaper yesterday a small article appeared about our trying the use of crowd-funding. (http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20121224/BETTERLIFE05/312240066/James-Taylor-church-Jeffersonville-Fire-and-Rain)
On returning home last night from a delightful evening and Christmas dinner I checked my email. There was an email from the Office of James Taylor. They had read the article in the Courier Journal and have offered to help us get additional publicity and funding for our organ project. They could well have demanded we take the video down as we had not secured the permission to use the words or music. (My 30 plus year remembrance on fair use had not kept up with changes in the copyright law.) Instead James Taylor and his assistant are working with us to help us. This from a major celebrity living in Massachusetts who does not know us or have any connection to our little Ohio River Town. He is offering strangers ways for us to get the funding we need.
All around me are people who in large ways and in smaller ways are reaching out to others.; helping others,; being there for one another. And I know if I look for that around me in a couple of weeks, or months they will be there at that time too.
Credo… I believe… I believe that there are so very many people whom we can trust to be kind and caring. I have decided I am going to look and concentrate on THEM. Not on the murderous few who make headlines and destroy lives. I will choose to focus on what is life giving and by concentrating my energy and attention on that will feed it, will be inspired to act in similar ways and help there to be more life-giving and less-life-denying actions in the world.
When (not if) our pipe organ is installed and ready to be dedicate a special invitation should be sent to Mr. Taylor to attend and be honored. We might even persuade him to sing along.