A thank you letter to my parish – that really applies to my Facebook family as well:
How do you say ‘thank you’ for a greater act of kindness than you could have ever imagined? That is a question I’ve been blessed to meditate on for the past month. After emerging from the ocean of grief I swam in following my father’s sudden passing, I opened my eyes to see the life rafts all around me. I saw the care and love and prayers of an entire community enveloping me as I learned to move forward into a new frontier. Through this experience, I’ve come to understand that the Parish of the Epiphany is not simply a community: we are a family.
I’ve received literally hundreds of cards from members of the parish I know well, members who I only see once in a while, and members I’ve never met and who live far away but remain on our mailing lists because even when you are far away – you are still part of the family. Acts of kindness have surrounded me since I joined this family two years ago. From a rousing welcome as I moved from DC, to hugs in passing “just because,” to cards and meals and love these past few months of illness, grief, and recovery – I have been enfolded into a new and loving family by coming to the Parish of the Epiphany.
That question, how to say ‘thank you’ for an unimaginable act of kindness, is truly an Easter question. How do we thank our God for coming to Earth to live among us, die for us, and come back to lead us into a new frontier? The answer is: just say it. Our culture tells us we are supposed to repay the favor but we can’t pay it back nor is God asking us to do so. When someone does something that big for us all we can do is be grateful, say thank you, and continue on. The greatest way to demonstrate our gratitude and to say thanks is by living fully and well.
I know the family that is the Parish of the Epiphany is grateful. We live well and try to do better each day. I am grateful. I am grateful for the love with which you’ve buoyed me in this time. And now, I hope we are all ready to dive into the life of God and build up our programs so we can continue to welcome more people into our family. We have an opportunity everyday to say ‘thank you’ to God and to one another for the gift of this wild and beautiful life.
So, thank you. Thank you from the depth of my being. Thank you for being part of this family. Let’s be grateful and let’s make it great.