As part of our anniversary celebration my sweetie and I spent the day away from home. When we’re out and about on a Sunday we often find another Parish to attend through Mass Times.
“read this Scripture and add your name.”
The Priest celebrating Mass reminded us of the practice of placing ourselves in the scripture. In Luke 16: 19 – 31, he pointed out that it’s pretty easy to do since we have only the name of Lazarus as the poor man. At the end of the homily Fr. Jamie started reading it using his own name. Jamie was a rich man who dressed in purple…And lying at Jamie’s door was a poor man named Lazarus.
Jesus said to the Pharisees:
“There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen
and dined sumptuously each day.
And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps
that fell from the rich man’s table.
Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.
When the poor man died,
he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.
The rich man also died and was buried,
and from the netherworld, where he was in torment,
he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off
and Lazarus at his side.
And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me.
Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue,
for I am suffering torment in these flames.’
‘My child, remember that you received
what was good during your lifetime
while Lazarus likewise received what was bad;
but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.
Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established
to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go
from our side to yours or from your side to ours.’
He said, ‘Then I beg you, father,
send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers,
so that he may warn them,
lest they too come to this place of torment.’
But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets.
Let them listen to them.’
He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham,
but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
Then Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets,
neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.’”
So then I realized why these last few weeks I’ve been praying for patience. Why the last few weeks have been so hard. I’m losing my job that’s for sure. That’s hard and for now I’m going to leave that there. Then there’s been everything going on with my Publisher Jake Finch (praise God for clear margins!).
Over the last several months I’ve been once again praying for patience. A closing store is a great place to exercise that desire. My desire for patience is there for a reason I want to comfort people. I do. After 14 others have expressed their grief, I’m overwhelmed and it I get to a point where I can’t handle it. Yes, dear quilters, I’m human with emotional limits. And occasionally I get really annoyed when the suggestion is made that I purchase the store. Um no. There are so many reasons why that won’t happen, that’s a blog post for my other blog.
I understand the need for a quilting community. I know the importance of that community. I know how you feel. You are part of my life, I’m part of yours. Just like Lazarus is part of the life of the rich man; and the rich man is part of the life of Lazarus. They’re connected, they are community for each other. The rich man missed this part of the community. Completely. Sometimes in contemplating scripture the “whys” come to mind – important business meetings, staff issues, wife needs new garments, she’s having a baby, the kids are sick, there’s a piece of land available, there’s an opportunity to purchase silk from the far east, there’s that 3 month vacation trip we’ve always wanted to take, the list is endless.
In the midst of this grief there is a need to be practical. I need a steady 40 hour a week job with a paycheck and benefits,therefore need to work on my resume and right now there is very little time. My hearts desire is to participate fully in the quilting community through teach, and writing. I love teaching quilting and I love traveling to teach. I have little time right now to focus on getting teaching gigs.
And then last night as I was on my way home the word compassion [sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it] came to mind. I want to be more compassionate, and quite frankly patient. Compassion is a deeper understanding of what the person needs. Two customers stopped in on Tuesday, because they are already missing the community they have developed over time. We all need community. We need to be there for one another. As we learn to quilt there is an ever deepening sense of gratitude, need for, community – we work together on our quilts. The quilting community reflects the inter-connectedness of who we are as people with all of our quirks, rough spots, kindness, arrogance, humbleness, there-for-you-ness. All of it. A quilt shop is a place for us to gather, to express that love that resides in our hearts, to be the person who offers a hand to others through making something that reminds others in a tangible way, of our love for another.
Yes, the business of a quilt shop is closing, that’s hard. But the heart of a community is closing. I do have compassion for this community that I’ve served…this one for such a short time. Even when my ability to express this compassion wanes because the 50th person comes in telling me how awful this is…