It's been a tough couple of weeks, hasn't it? Between fires in Colorado, storms in Florida, a fall-like gloom blanketing Washington, the political turmoil of the last days. . .there's a lot of chaos, fear, and anger out there. In addition, our little church has multiple people fighting cancer and other illnesses, and a good friend lost his father to cancer two days ago. It's been a season of grief, tension, hope, doubt, and wondering.
In the midst of it all, I keep reminding myself it's not all bad. On Saturday we celebrated the graduation of a friend, rejoicing in her accomplishment, and the plans she has for her future. On Sunday I had the privilege of baptizing three of our people, and reaffirming the baptism of a fourth. Baptisms are always a high point of the ministerial life, but this time around was made all the more special by the fact that two of those four were my own daughters - certainly a highlight of my life as a pastor and a dad. Then we had a chance to celebrate the youngest's birthday (and my dad's birthday, as well) later that afternoon, and the house was filled with family and friends and lots of little kids and good food and cupcakes. It was celebration in the fullness of that word - joy and laughter and love and hope and gladness.
And on Wednesday, the one sunny day in the midst of a gloomy early summer, we had the chance to go up to Mt. Rainier for the day. It's been a few years for me and the family, and it was good to get back. Lunch in the Paradise Inn, experiencing the new visitor center, hiking up a bit into the snow, taking a short nap out in the high alpine sunshine, rubbing shoulders with people from all over the world, stopping alongside the Nisqually River to enjoy the view, standing in awe of the snowy expanse of Rainier, pausing in Ashford to get some ice cream. It was the perfect day.
And it was a good reminder to me that there are more important things than Supreme Court decisions, and that good can still be found when we take the time to look for it.