There are clergy for whom a good word is never excessive…or hyperbolic. This morning one pastor is my focus. Well, actually one of three foci.
I’ve mentioned Joanne Carlson Brown before. I could tell you about her phD in Church History, I could tell you she teaches at a university in Seattle, I could tell you she and her beloved Christie were married in her Methodist Church [and yes, by their DS!!! ], and I could tell you she’s the pastor at Tibbett’s United Methodist Church in West Seattle.
More, though. I treasure the friendship with Joanne…for her caring spirit for me and my family. For her encouragement to never give in or give up. For the way in which her very life makes it clear that Good Friday never wins. So, a shout-out to Joanne…and next time I’m in Seattle Dr. Brown, lunch it is.
A second foci is this hand bell offering from the Hand Bell Choir at Tibbett’s. So clear and gracious…and inspirational. Certainly there have to be thousands of versions of “Amazing Grace,” but for whatever reason, this one needs to be saved. That’s my commendation, with no hesitance.
But the third foci…the woman sitting in the front pew got my attention. I do not know her name. I’m assuming she’s got her hand to her ear to hold the hearing device the church provides during worship and not to tune out worship or the special music, I’m assuming she’s sitting in the front row—not because she came in late—but because she wants to make sure she doesn’t miss anything. And that pew is “her pew.”
What strikes me…she’s wearing black. But not totally. In the centering of her coat there’s a white cloth—maybe a sweater or scarf or part of her jacket. THAT’S what she grasps…the white and not the black.
So, Joanne? Thanks be to God for you. Go Joanne! And know. You are valued…as is your Tibbett’s Hand Bell Choir…and the lady who sits in the front pew…to make sure nothing is missed in worship—either to her eyes…or her ears…or her heart and soul. Yes!
Sit and listen…and make this three minutes plus a most valuable time of focus and inspiration: