Train up a child…

Normally I think I would have written a couple of posts by now, but nothing in particular has come to mind–until yesterday.

For more than 20 years, my faith tradition has held a daily prayer for peace. It’s a short (but heartfelt) service–but held 365 days a year in one of the buildings of our headquarters–Community of Christ Temple in Independence, Missouri. It’s open to anyone who wishes to come and prayer for peace with us. Each day a different country of the world is held up in prayer.

I’ve participated in that several different ways…led it, contributed prayers for it, but probably most often, played for it (either on piano or organ).

Yesterday I was scheduled to play. As I was getting ready to leave, I told my granddaughter “good-bye” only to have her respond (rather vehemently), “Gwamma, you can’t go!” Her grandpa told her I was going to play for the prayer, and her response was “Okay, let’s go!” She has been to the Temple before, including to the prayer, but I had not planned on taking her this time. However, we bundled her up and took off.

As is my custom, I went on up to the organ to finish making sure my registrations for the ministry of music were what I wanted and to run through the hymn again. As I was finishing that–and before anyone had arrived for the service–my granddaughter, with help from Poppa (grandfather), came up the steps and over to the organ. He planted her on the seat beside me, and her eyes just lit up.

Ladybug loves music! She has played on my piano and organ at home in a way that I think is unusual for a child as young as she is. She does not bang but tries to intentionally make music. She has also sat on this organ bench with me before, but it’s been a while, so she was delighted to have this opportunity.

Poppa took several pictures–and they remind me that what we do with our children can have a lifelong impact. She loves music…she loves the prayer for peace…and she has watched me and knows what she needs to do when she sits on the organ bench.

"I think we need more stops!"

“I think we need more stops!”

"Four keyboards is a lot more fun than just one!"

“Four keyboards is a lot more fun than just one!”

Helping Grandma play the Daily Prayer for Peace

Helping Grandma play the Daily Prayer for Peace

So it’s a new year…

It’s a new year, and I’ve been trying to think of some profound comment (or comments) to make in the start of the year. But…no luck.

And maybe–just maybe–that’s the secret to making this new year a good one. Not to try to force something huge and profound to the surface, but to live each day to its fullest. To really look around me and see people, events, possibilities…

I went to a memorial/celebration service this last weekend for someone I really enjoyed being friends with, even though we didn’t see each other all that often. He was killed in an accident–a terrible, tragic accident.But his widow and daughter have–over the last few weeks–brought ministry to the many of us who were mourning. They are hurting, but they have responded with compassion to the woman involved in the tragedy…have sent messages of hope and comfort to the many friends in the many places where Terry lived and ministered.

And at that service, there were a couple of comments that really struck me. One had to do with the fact that many of us die before our dying is truly done–our dying to hatred, anger, vengeance…all those things that separate us from each other.

The other phrase struck me as the first line of a poem…and here’s mine:

When midnight comes at noontime
and light turns into darkness…
when sharp frost nips the opened buds
and blossoms droop in death…
when the road ahead seems hidden and blocked
and there seems no place to go…

look for the lighted star
breaking through the clouds…
the unfurled leaf
showing the green of spring’s new life…
take a single step–
and love will find the way.