We went to lunch with my father-in-law and his fiancé yesterday. He asks me where my “Thoughts From the Porch”. I explained that I try not to post anything on the weekends. I’m trying to learn how to observe the “sabbath”: the idea of resting from my regular labors, staying home with my wonderful wife, and “piddling” around the house. I still spend quiet time on the porch, usually before everyone else is up, and start my day. There’s something special about that rectangular piece of concrete where I sit and take in the day God has given me.
There’s something about this peaceful front porch, in my quiet little cul-de-sac: something spiritual. It’s no wonder that when our friends stop by for coffee on Sunday morning, we’ve come to calling it “Having church”. It’s sure different from the church I grew up in, and a heck of a lot more spiritual. I don’t mean to bash church services as most people understand. It’s just that something happens there on the porch that doesn’t happen in the “worship services” I grew up with. Whether it’s by myself, with Margaret, or our friends there’s a spirit of shalom, that of wholeness, harmony, and well-being, resides here. I’m under no illusion that it’s nothing other than God’s grace that makes it that way. Margaret and I simply make it available.
I was sitting there this morning, sipping coffee, and smoking the first cigarette (yes, I know you thought I quit. I still indulge, though Margaret’s finally a non-smoker…) of the day and I thought about all the faces of family and friends that have blessed our porch over the last few years. I thought about the people I don’t see as often, and I grieved over the one’s who have moved away or passed away. There’s been more of the latter category this year.
I also thought of the new faces I’ve come to see over the last year. I’m truly amazed by God’s sense of balance. Winter friends pass on and new ones appear. Life goes on. I’m grateful and at peace.
I’ll go inside to start working in a bit. The pace will quicken and the quiet of the morning will be replaced by the buzz of the “to do” list: phone calls to be made, projects to be finished and appointments to be kept. Periodically throughout the day, I’ll think of this morning on the porch and of the friends I’ve been there with. I’ll remember and smile. Aren’t Mondays great?