Winter is here.
Yesterday I ran 17 miles in freezing temperatures and came home looking like a snowman.
This morning we woke up to a couple of inches of snow on the ground.
The last month in Ohio has been gray, wet, and cold.
Today, as I pulled up to church, I saw someone placing clothes on the fence around the parking lot. I wondered what was happening. Was someone hanging laundry while it was snowing?
As I got closer, I realized this wasn’t laundry, but knit scarves, hats, and gloves. One group of people were hanging these items, while others were taking them.
I discovered that the people behind the handmade items were a group of friends using the Facebook name, “Spread the cheer, spread the gear”. This group was not a church, neighborhood, or civic group of any kind. Rather, it was simply a group of friends who knit 200 items to share with others.
When I asked them how they found the Church for All People, the organizer said she had donated clothing items to the Free Store and because the Free Store people were so nice, she wanted to do something to help the community.
The last several weeks have been a dark time, not only in terms of weather, but for people in our neighborhood who have been sick, hurting, and victims of violence.
Today, hope came in the gifts of strangers, who gave because they had been treated with kindness. In their gift, light overcame darkness. Good news of great joy was shared. Over the backs of chair in worship, the same knit items with their encouraging note marked a testimony of community and encouragement. Christmas was born today.