Linda and I had a great time in Branson this week, enjoying filling our rental car with gas at $1.50 a gallon and checking out various eating and, er, watering establishments. But a highlight was the tribute show for The Carpenters.
The show wasn’t merely a second-rate imitation of a popular group; it was in many ways a tribute, and the lead singer had personally known Karen Carpenter, who was her voice coach. After a serious illness, she determined to offer this tribute, since she sensed that Karen’s wonderful gifts were being overlooked and forgotten in this time.
I was struck by the sadness of Karen’s life, for all her gifts. She sang about love and about weddings, but her own marriage was devastated by the dishonesty of the man she married. The performers said that while her cause of death was listed as an eating disorder, she really died of a broken heart.
It makes me wonder how many people around us need to experience genuine love and compassion. How many folks are deeply hurting behind a forced smile? What can you and I do to bring joy and blessing into the lives of people around us?
This is the Sunday that Pr. Dennis DiMauro and I are exchanging pulpits (well, it isn’t the pulpits that are moving but the preachers). The congregation he serves, like St. Timothy, is composed of people who genuinely like each other and support one another and the community in many ways. And yet in this fallen world, we are surrounded by so much pain, often expressed in anger and frustration.
The Second Lesson today speaks of Christians as lights shining in a dark world. By supporting Trinity Lutheran in Warrenton, we are helping their light shine even brighter. How can you and I be even brighter lights for Christ, shining with God’s love for all the hurting people around us?
Steve Shipman, STS