This article will appear in the Valley Times-News this week. If you read the paper then you'll get a double helpin'. Thanks for sharing your Holy Week with me. Hope this will inspire you to get "raising".
|Women participating in a "raising".|
“You raise me up to stand on highest mountains…you raise me up to more than I can be” by Josh Groban is a beautiful song. We are called to love one another as we love ourselves. Yesterday that happened to me and I was “raised up”. Holy Week service at First UMC West Point with preaching, singing, and lunch was gracious plenty… and then I got another helping—no—I didn’t get back in line—it was tempting—but my plate was already overflowing from the first trip. If you remember I invited y’all in my last article—sorry if you missed it. OK, back to my “raising”. Several people there made it a point to stop me or come by my table to tell me how much they enjoyed my articles. Some even called it my “weekly column”. I do aspire to have a weekly column in true Erma Bombeck style. I also aspire to get to her workshop so I can give y’all better words to ponder, cherish, mull over, tell your friends about…I’ll stop. Obviously, I need more training. Send a check to the “please get this girl some Erma fund”.
Yesterday’s evidence; I need love and encouragement to keep writing. I get that from birds singing, beautiful flowers, my river with the moon reflecting in it this morning, and pats on the back with kind words from all of you. The song about “raising up “is about God’s power but that power to “raise” others up is in the hands of all of us. I experienced that yesterday. I did not “get the big head” over it either. Do you remember those words from childhood? “ If you tell her that she did well then she’ll get the big head”. My head did get bigger since I was kid but I think it’s because I have such a big brain. Ok, that’s another article.
Who needs a “raising” this week? Most of us need several daily. My job is about figuring out how to help folks who need a “raising” so they can do the same under their own roofs with those others who are longing for a “raising”. I’m going to miss “raising” from some of y’all today because I’m doing a lunch time appointment with folks who are desperate to find “raising” under their roof. I will miss the fellowship of the meal, the sermon, and the pats on my back from a Holy Week event. I will be diligent in seeking out some “raisings” from other sources this week and trying to be more aware of where I can offer them. Last week I wasn’t very patient with a customer service employee at a company. I attempted to make amends by returning with a box of Girls Scout cookies. I hope my peace offering was accepted?
Our Valley Pastoral Institute Advisory Board comprised of Bill Edwards, our chair; Christine Simpson, Marilyn Stokes, Lucy Royster, Donnie Erwin-Brown, Shelly Hunter, Brenda Andrews, Mary Susan Underwood, Micky Underwood, John Samanie, Lessie Beck, Sandra Thornton, and Marshall Sapp. We met last week and they asked me to share with you that we had over 800 hours of service last year to the community. Hopefully hundreds of those hours were about “raisings”.
Karen Erwin-Brown is the director of the Valley office of the Pastoral Institute located in Shawmut United Methodist Church in Valley, AL. She offers individual, marriage, and family counseling by appointment. Call 334-768-2341 for an appointment or more information.