Sunday, May 03, 2020

Sunday Afternoon Tea - We get just a glimpse of another's story

I've been pondering this week how the Internet only gives us a peek into a person's life, a snapshot of their journey given one blog post at a time.  It came about when I was reading a comment from last week that indicated I had a lot of wisdom for someone who doesn't go to church.

Well, I appreciate the compliment and I do get their point, it is true I don't go to church.  However, I also do not go to concerts, the movies, to visit my son's family an hour away, or out to a restaurant in the evenings.

I have had to turn down taking more of a part in a friend's ministry and even a trip to England with my daughter to attend Sarah Clarkson's wedding at Oxford.  (As much as my granddaughter loves Grammie, she is thankful I couldn't go so she could!).

I have had to give up all gardening except for container gardening on the deck.  The area where we once had the raised bed garden is now the burn pit for tree limbs and other stuff one has to deal with when they live in a forested area.

Long time readers know that I developed two autoimmune diseases about twenty years ago.  The Hashimotos Disease came about after developing Juvenile (Type 1) diabetes.  I was talking to my much beloved doctor recently, the older African American doctor at the County clinic who did more for me than any of my high priced specialists.

He has always been fascinated by my case as it is very rare to develop Juvenile Diabetes in middle age (my Uncle did, though).  I described how I had been a power walker and that is how I first noticed something was wrong,  I could no longer walk three miles and then even two miles was a struggle.  Until today, when it is difficult to walk down the gravel lane to the mailbox on the county road.

So how does someone who doesn't go to church gain wisdom?  Well, for one thing I used to go to church.  I have worked in churches.  I have written Bible studies and taught one of them on the Book of Esther at our church in Michigan.  I have taught adult Sunday School and volunteered for para-church ministries.  I was even part of a Jesus People coffeehouse ministry.

I have read books by the great theologians and Bible teachers since I became a Christian as a teenager. I have discussed Bible principles with everyone from toddlers to very wise teachers.  I have been blessed with excellent Christian radio stations through the years that shared inspiring faith filled music as well as favorite Bible teachers.

That doesn't include the years in a corporation or all those homeschooling years.  Some readers have no idea I worked in Organization Development or homeschooled our younger child.  It doesn't come up often these days.

There is a TV commercial on a local channel that I love, talking about a rest home for retired people.  In each commercial, they show an elderly person, quite often stooped over in a wheel chair, and share their accomplishments in life.

We only see the eighty year old man or ninety year old woman but it turns out they made world changing scientific discoveries at the University, or was one of the women to serve in WWII, or that they researched the history of the County.

The commercial always reminds me that every person has a story.

All of this is to share how a person who doesn't attend church can write with wisdom.  I do think if we read biographies of Christians we admire that there were many of them who either could no longer attend a church because of their health, or... as in so many countries... because it is illegal in their country.

I appreciated the comment because it reminded me to once again get a little deeper into my background and to remind myself there was a time when I could do more stuff.  ;)

Image:  This is a favorite photo from when I could travel to see my daughter's family.  We loved going to Tea Rooms.  That little girl across from me graduated from high school this Spring and will enter a Christian college this Fall. 


Deanna Rabe said...

Ah, friend, if you only had the Bible to read you could be full of wisdom. So thankful that we do have more resources through books, radio and tv.

Love you, sister.

Nancy said...

Gosh, I never dreamed my comment would cause a post! I do know your church history, bible studies, homeschooling, and reading great Christian biographies, etc. I also know that you read Rosamunde Pilcher, a favorite of mine, and that you have watched Last of the Summer Wine, another favorite. While we are to fellowship together as Christians it is nice to know that there is someone who is not being influenced by a CHURCH. I'm Lutheran and am always reminded of the fact in church. My pastor told me that I can read non Lutheran books as long as I can recognize the differences in theology, etc. Am I smart enough to do so, probably not. I just want a simple faith and a simple church. Reading God's Word, prayer, and singing songs I know. Is that too much to ask?

Vee said...

"I used to do stuff" and you still do, Brenda. Your gift for writing is a delight post after post. Now this is the difference between you and me—I would have taken the comment as a backhanded one and you used it to ponder your circumstances and write this response. Your approach is much better. That is a wonderful picture!

Jenny said...

I didn't even realize you didn't go to church. I admit that I've wanted to quit church for such a long time now but I keep going for the sake of my children & grandchildren. I also wonder what God must think of church. Is he as weary of it as I am or is my heart just in the wrong place? I do teach a boys SS class but recently I've even questioned whether that is the right thing for me to be doing. I've also homeschooled & led lots of church & homeschooling activities/classes over the years.

My husband was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as an adult. His mother was diagnosed in her early 20s & his little brother when he was 12. My husband was misdiagnosed as a type 2 originally because of his age(36).

Anonymous said...

I read that comment several times and even read it to my husband yesterday. I felt that it was snarky. I didn't like it. Yes, you can get wisdom so many different ways, especially with all of the different resources we have available now. In addition to what you related as to getting wisdom, many who can't get out are able to not only listen on the radio but watch online, which is what I did this morning. Don't forget that good, solid Christian friends are able to offer support, acceptance and wisdom that they have learned along the way. Of course, we can't forget God's word which is our ultimate authority and teacher. Glad that God is judging my heart and not only people who are going to church and offering their opinions. Diane

Nancy said...

While my original comment was not well thought out it was also not meant to be snarky or backhanded. I've read Brenda's blog for many years and have nothing but the deepest respect and admiration for her. I seldom comment as I obviously have a hard time expressing my feelings in written form.

Elizabeth said...

There is one interesting fact of this virus most everyone is on the same page as we are...we who for health reasons can no longer attend public worship services and stay home most all the time. We are blessed because the choices for listening or watching services online and on TV are many. As for people who are ill staying home?? This is how it ALWAYS should have been!! So those who were well could go...even if they did have immune issues!! So now that NO ONE can attend...does GOD love us any less? Not the GOD I love!! HE KNOWS IT ALL!! Suffering often does bring wisdom, doesn't it, Brenda? I too have Hashimoto's...our daughter learned of hers first and they insisted she had to have at least one parent with was a few years later that both Hubby and I learned we have it. We are also diabetics and on high blood pressure meds too. So fun. But we surely did not ask for this...and in our case, there is reason to think the Diabetes must have come via a virus. But no matter...we are only here in this life for awhile...and the next one will be oh so wonderful!!

Judy said...

For Nancy,

I hope you come back and read this. I had read your original statement at the time you wrote it and thought it displayed no malice whatsoever. It was straightforward and admiring of Brenda's wisdom, despite her non-attendance at church. It sounded to me like you were musing on whether being separate from the sometimes complex, interpersonal challenges or doctrinal dogmas of church involvement might even have contributed to her wisdom.

Take heart, our Saviour knows what it is to be misunderstood, and Brenda's own reflection shows she feels it too. It seems to me, that the instructions Paul provides in his letters, around patience and forgiveness of one another within the Christian community, are in recognition that misunderstandings are a feature of communication between brothers and sisters in Christ - just part of the sad damage arising from the Fall that mercifully, will be undone as part of our eternal redemption.

Nancy said...

For Judy,

Your post was a great comfort to me! Thank you for letting me know that you understood what I was trying to tell Brenda.

God bless you!

Deb said...

Brenda, it's hard to believe your granddaughter will enter college. I remember this picture from long ago that you just posted....and in my mind's eye, whenever you mention your daughter and her family, I picture them just like this! When in the world did they grow up??