Many years ago, I made this butterfly for my former pastor and dear friend, Bertha Landers. This afternoon I was privileged to visit with her briefly in her new home in a retirement complex, and the butterfly graced her coffee table.
The butterfly is often used as a symbol for new life. And Bertha was, for me, a midwife for a new life. After Volker died, when I struggled to come to terms with the changed world I lived in, Bertha listened and advised, walking with me through the darkness.
I chose to make the butterfly of stain-glass. It was a craft that Volker indulged in for several years before his death. He taught me, though I could never make the neat welds that he did. And so, this butterfly spoke of both the old and the new.
Thank you, Bertha. I am forever grateful for your faith, for your love, for your influence in my life!
Sometimes, when I’m feeling kinda down, I take a drive. The evening of Father’s Day I did just that. I brought my camera, looking for beauty, for God in creation (having experienced that topic in an “indoor outdoor worship service” that morning at Bloomingdale Mennonite Church).
The weather for the last several days had been unsettled, rain and sun, sometimes at the same time. I got some dramatic sky pictures. When I got to the park in Stratford it was raining lightly. Billie and I waited in the car until most of the drops had quit, then started our walk by the river. A rainbow was evident. I also took iconic Stratford pictures, the river, the theatre, the swans.
On my way home another rainbow appeared in the sky. It accompanied me from New Hamburg to Kitchener.
My Beloved Man is an Iranian Baha’i. The Baha’i were (and still are) persecuted to the point of death in Iran by the Muslim majority as he was growing up. He has no soft feelings for that religion; I’ve heard him say that it would only be a good thing if they were wiped off the face of the earth.
He has a business neighbour who is going through a tough time of family breakup. Mohammed is a Muslim from Syria who goes around telling others that his wife is a bitch and a whore and whatever other nasty thing comes into his head. BM has heard Mohammed call her these names and treat her with total lack of respect or kindness.
Last weekend, at 1:30 AM, my Beloved Man got a call from Mohammed who was sleeping in his garage (business) because he wasn’t going to back to that “whore house” anymore. He asked BM for a blanket because he was cold and sick and hadn’t eaten in days. And so BM got up, gathered three blankets and drove into town, stopping at Tim Horton’s to pick up a large tea and bagel and spent the next hour plus listening and talking with this Muslim man.
And I keep thinking about the story Jesus told of the Good Samaritan. When we can bind the wounds of our enemy we are walking in the Way.
Who is my enemy? Would my friend/enemy know he/she could call me in the middle of the night to request help? Would I be willing to get out of my warm bed to go help?
I am so grateful for “That Man,” he has taught me much about love.
February 29 – an extra day in the year, “an extra gift of time.” Today’s challenge is just to make use of that gift to be generous in whatever way we wish to be generous.
For today’s blog I’m just going to celebrate the newest member of the Gingerich Family – Luca Conner White, newborn son of Holly and Trevor, born 9:30 pm on February 28, weighing 5 pounds 4 ounces. Welcome, Luca!