Blue Monday

This photo leads me to wonder if yesterday was Blue Monday at Cool Springs Mall.

We couldn’t get Al to stop long enough take off his jacket or to come down from the ladder and show his face.

He said “we have a lot of work to do today.” 

Angelo (center) protested “Aw, Al come on-a down. How long does it take to have-a your picture made? You don’t-a have many people want to take-a your picture every day!”

Betty (age 95) readily parked her rolling basket with jacket and hand weights in the bottom of it long enough to join us and seemed to delight in the photo op.

Ernie -- also wearing blue -- was nearby but he was the party pooper.

In a matter of about 20 seconds everyone was back in stride working, walking, or pooping.

A few minutes later and approaching my exit, Bill Long was just arriving and assumed his pace. I rounded the corner to make another lap, looked up and noticed that he had turned around, held up his pace, and waited for me to join him. We had a nice visit for an entire lap swapping stories about Nashville area churches to which we have belonged. The Longs were long-time members of Crievewood Baptist but have been members at Brentwood Baptist fifteen or so years.  Daughter Gina who lives in Austin TX keeps him up on her friends Tana and Julie all three of whom were in our choir down at First Baptist as younger adults. Good musicians all three and I still love those gals.

How cool it is to think of all the wonderful people who have crossed our path in almost forty years in Nashville. Through those years Honey would often comment how blessed we were in that regard and I would always readily agree. The other day Beth Taylor called out of the blue just to catch up a little. Beth and I were on staff together in my early years at FBC. She was part-time children’s minister and most of that time she and Rubynelle Dixon (part-time preschool minister) shared a too-small office together. Of course, any office would be too small for those gals. Oh my soul, did we have too much fun during those days! Sometimes in staff meeting we’d fight like siblings, but we also loved each other like brothers and sisters. Those two women raising teenagers at that time could say things and tell stories that would make you laugh all day. Sweet Rubynelle died a few years ago and Beth and hubby Bob are not able to come to church much, but thinking about them absolutely God-blesses me still.

I told my Dad the other day that one thing I want to do is think of as many people as I can who have touched my life in a special way and write a page or two about each one. I wish my Dad had done that very thing. I better get started on that project because there certainly are many on the list. Perhaps I’m not the only who needs to do a project like that and hasn’t.

Here is a two hundred year old hymn that still appears in many hymnals today. It is that timeless:

Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love;
     the fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.

Before our Father’s throne we pour our ardent prayers;
    our fears, our hopes, our aims are one, our comforts and our cares.

We share our mutual woes, our mutual burdens bear;
     and often for each other flows the sympathizing tear.

When we asunder part, it gives us inward pain;
     but we shall still be joined in heart, and hope to meet again.

Words – John Fawcett, 1782

Thank you, God, for the people you have placed in our path and the tie that binds us together. And thanks for new people we continue to meet; help us to represent you well to them.

- Mark