A tiny, precious miracle

Dear President Trump,

It’s sort of awkward writing to you when you are already in tomorrow, but I suppose it isn’t that different from usual since you and I are rarely in the same time zone and we never occupy the same reality.

How was it meeting with the Japanese families of people who were abducted by North Korea? Did anyone challenge you on Kim being your BFF2 (to be clear, Vladimir is your BFF1) or was it all polite small talk? I noticed that your Memorial Day schedule didn’t include a visit to either Hiroshima or Nagasaki to honor the more than 200,000 Japanese civilians we dropped atomic bombs on in 1945. Under the circumstances that probably would have been the most fitting way for you to spend yesterday, especially given your blasé response to Kim firing off his missiles, missiles we all know are designed to be outfitted with nuclear warheads.

Not a big surprise, but part of my day yesterday was spent at church. I was all set to leave after the sermon as has been my practice lately, but things moved quickly and I decided to stick it out to the finish, which was a good thing because a tiny, precious miracle happened in the last five minutes.

The service was focused on saying goodbye to a couple that’s been integral to the church for the past five years; she was on staff and he was a lay bible study leader. It was tender and bittersweet as they shared what being part of the congregation has meant to them and how they are looking forward to moving to be near their grandchildren. At the end of the service we all formed several wonky, sort of interconnected circles and held hands as we said a blessing for them. Most of us then dropped hands but stayed in our circles.

The miracle came when we started singing a short sending off song. A couple of circles in front of me was a homeless, quite mentally ill man who has been coming to church every Sunday for several years. He often plays the piano in the lounge, which he does beautifully with no sheet music. He also never speaks to anyone; the one time I tried to engage him by saying “hi” and introducing myself, he told me his name was “Lucifer” and walked off. Yesterday for the first time ever, he was without his big heavy coat and he sat right next to someone during service. Not only did he hold her hand during the initial blessing but also he took her hand again during the song when she offered it. Most wonderfully, he then looked to his other side to see who might hold his other hand. Fortunately a man in the circle just behind them noticed the gesture, stepped up, and held his hand. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one moved to tears.

May we all be safe and well met when we reach out.
May we be open to miracles.
May we believe in one another and hold space for one another.
May we choose peace.

Tracy Simpson

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