It’s dark early these nights, and I am not always in the mood to leave my cozy home. But there is Friendship on Monday nights: a time to fellowship with those who need to hear of Jesus' love through song and story and snacks. And I feel my spirits lift with each smiling Friend as they enter the building and join our group. The enthusiasm and their own special love is so palpable.
We sing songs, lots of songs! Today we had an extra thank you to God for the song of Jingle Bells, which brings smiles to all the faces—Jimmys especially. His hands are getting shakier each year, but he is adamant on running the projector for the song sheets. Ronda, our music teacher, is always so full of cheer for every person who sits before her and we are grateful for her enthusiasm. Michael’s voice is a song of opera to the right ears, and we are so thankful to listen.
Tonight we made crosses with plastic mats and ribbon. There was a flurry of questions while we all learned the tricks with our needles. Rick keeps finding minuscule items from the floor to put into the garbage—and don’t forget to thank him! Stewart quietly knows every single answer to every single question —just ask him. Chris sits beside me with a mammoth tool bag full of wool and his crochet hook, expertly crocheting beautiful afghans while he listens. That guy is amazing!
Megan met a visiting student from Mexico with a “Hi, I’m Megan, and I play flute, and I’m lovable.” Indeed, they all are. They bring only themselves to the meetings, no hidden agendas, and I understand that. They each have such honesty, and also humour, even in the midst of wheelchairs and twisted ribbons and broken zippers.
The crosses are a reminder that the Christmas story is not completed without knowing the whole story. The cross is our freedom, and it is our victory. We talk about the story as we weave ribbons through plastic. They will hang on our Christmas trees, or be used as book markers.
When it’s time to go, each one is eager to bring home their craft. And to know when exactly the next meeting is, in the new year: because the nights are long and dark, and we need to sing Jingle Bells.