They don’t come very often. If they came often, there would be nothing unusual about them. We wouldn’t remember them for the rest of our lives. They are precious reminders, personal, that our lives have meaning, that there is something more than the daily, more than the stuff of getting by. The daily, the stuff of getting by, matters, too; it’s what we are called to do. But then one of them comes – I think from God – as an amazing gift.
Our lives matter. My life matters.
Last week I had some personal and professional work to do with our mission partners in Burundi. In addition to the Mission Committee business, Becky and I had sent a contribution to help a little in the work at Kibuye Hope, something to do with the school side of the project. I was back and forth in emails with Jess Cropsey about the details. After all the work was completed, Jess wrote:
We deeply feel Langhorne’s love and care for us. Thank you so much for the many ways that you come alongside us from afar.
The Session will pass its 2017 Operating Budget on Monday night. The Mission portion of that budget will include funds for Kibuye. And PLM in Guatemala. And HPCA in North Philadelphia. And IPJA in Brazil. And Life Abundant at the Bucks County Jail. And more. Yes, we could do more, but the more we might do does not negate the love and care they feel in Burnundi, the many ways we come alongside from afar.
This past Wednesday, LPC hosted, and our Deacons assisted, the Bucks County Housing Group’s annual Christmas store. A hundred families, 270 kids’ lives touched. Many of you – some of you amazingly so – added to the stash of toys and mittens and hats going into Bucks County homes, the homes of our neighbors, this Christmas season. The toys and hats and mittens will make a difference.
LPC matters. This is more than a pastor’s bragging rights. In a world where too many suppose a Facebook post or an online petition suffices to fulfill our obligation to help change the world, our actions make a real difference. More than random acts of kindness, they are disciplined and deliberate acts pointing to Christ and to God’s redeeming love.
And then there was this. I read it two or three times and then just sat for a while. My life matters. Becky’s life and my life together matter. Once in a while comes a reminder we will not forget as long as we live. The reminder is an amazing gift from God.
Jess was writing about the gift Becky and I had given. Something to be used for the school, we had said.
“I met with the local school’s principals the other day,” Jess wrote. Then she described the needs our gift might help meet. That small bit of helping is a privilege and a reward sufficient in itself.
But then Jess added, “They have the poster board up in the new school office with all the pictures/notes that LPC sent with the teacher kits. I pointed you out to them and told them the gift would be from you. They said they are very grateful and will pray for you. :)”
They will never name an office tower or a presidential library after me. But at the public school in Kibuye, Burundi, East Africa, there is a poster board and on it, along with some other LPC people, a picture of Becky and me. And now they know our names. They say they are very grateful and will pray for us. I’ll take my name on that poster board and the prayers of the people of Kibuye school over a tower or a presidential library bearing my name any day.
Again I read the words and then just sat for a while. Our lives matter. My life matters. What we do matters. Every so often we are reminded of this, and when the reminder comes it is an amazing gift of grace.
Our lives matter in what we do with them. That for which we work and that to which we give.
Our lives matter so much that God sent his only Son that believing in him we might not die, but have eternal life.
See you Sunday