I can remember hearing my grandmother say, “everything’s going to pot.” She was complaining about the state of the world which, in the 1970’s in southern California, was a far cry from the orderly, hardworking world that she had grown up in on the east coast. I viewed her observation as something that comes from being old. The world starts looking a little worn and stops making sense. I made a mental note: “Don’t let this happen to you.”
But lately I have been feeling like I know exactly how Grandma felt. Things don’t make sense to me when I look around and when I listen to the news. I sometimes feel a little out of step and less inclined to jump on a bandwagon. I especially felt this way listening to the news and events that led up to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Then I decided to turn my attention to what is working, what is right, what feels like home. I love this quote from the book of Phillipians in the Christian bible: Whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is true, whatever is lovely, whatever is pure, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about these things.” (Phillipians 4:8). I see so many things at Homewoods every day that can be described in this way. For example, this week one of our community members stops by with his little dog in his arms, his face all lit up with smiles, and offers me warm wishes for the day. “I like to keep things positive” he says. I felt encouraged by him. I know of relative strangers, neighbors yes, but not exactly friends, who reach out and offer all kinds of tangible assistance to someone who is out of the building convalescing. They do this without being asked: offers to help with housekeeping, meal prep, grocery shopping, even help with expenses. How wonderful people are.
All of this reminds me of one of my favorite songs from a musician by the name of David Wilcox. I heard him sing it right after the events of September 11, 2001 and took comfort in the hope that he expressed. One line in particular has stayed with me. The song is called “Show the Way.”
“It’s love who makes the mortar, love who stacked these stones, and it’s love who made the stage here, though it looks like we’re alone. In this scene set in shadows, like the night is here to stay. There is evil cast around us but it’s love that wrote the play.”
As we go into this, both the darkest and holiest of seasons, may you all hold fast to that which is truly yours, the love of friends, family, and even strangers. It is love that wrote this play.