Monday, November 28, 2005

Camping in the Woods

Last week I spent five days at camp with about 50 members of our church Boy Scout troop. I've been doing it for over 30 years.

At 56, it's getting harder. However, my wife Joslyn makes it easier, in fact camping was almost luxurious.

We bought a giant tent, a portable queen size bed, air mattress, blankets, comforters, outdoor heaters, night lights, a table for my computer (I have to do three hours of study daily even in the woods) and many of the comforts of home.

With the exception that we couldn't make a quick walk to the bathroom, it was "home" for five days.

It reminded me of the first years of our marriage 31 years ago. We lived in a shotgun house with only a bed, a refrigerator and a kitchen table. When Joslyn finished decorating and arranging, the sofaless, chairless, shotgun house appeared to be our artistic desire rather than a reflection of our poverty.

The bible says he who finds a wife, finds a "good thing."

I hope I have been as good for her as she has been for me.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

More Than A Dinner

Joslyn and I went to dinner last night, but not alone.

Our congregation hosted a dinner for 70 evacuees of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita at Sophia's Restuarant.

Sophia's is plush Soul Food restuarant in Monroe. It's a greasy spoon without the grease.

The idea was to share a fellowship with evacuees in a setting that was not condescending or patronizing with men and women who have seen their share of misery.

Pastor Joe Adair of the Second Macedonia Baptist Chuch of Elizabeth New Jersey joined us. He brought financial gifts from the seniors of his church and the City of Elizabeth Fire Department.

As the dinner ended we distributed boxes of blankets, sheets, cleaning supplies and checks to evacuees. We intend to partner with them throughout the year to help them in many small ways.

I don't usually enjoy public dinners, banquets and formal affairs. I enjoyed this one.

I felt I was among friends although I really knew only a little about each guest and they probably knew even less about me.

Jesus was often criticized because he chose not to frequent the banquets of the rich and the affluent. His tendency to be seen frequently outside of the respectable social circles, while not completely ignoring others, was a major cause of friction in his ministry.

He seemed most comfortable where those around him needed or appreciated his prescence.

Last night Joslyn and I felt we were among those who appreciated our prescence.

I felt so comfortable...I ate some of my chicken with my fingers!

It was a memorable moment.