I had a good couple of days. After a few months of enduring one problem after another with my knee and feet, I suddenly felt no pain and could move around without a cane, although, it was mighty good to have it, when I needed its support.
Last night, as I went to sleep, Chickie decided to bestow on me the favor of lying on my legs. It was not a big deal, really, so I let him curl up on his beloved blanket on top of me. When I tried to get up, I felt the familiar stiffness of the knee joint. Just like that, the pain returned!
Anyway, two days without pain are better than nothing, right? There are people in this world, who exist in constant pain, and one of them is Roberta. I don't know, how she is doing it: most of the time, she is cheerful and doesn't complain.
Did I tell you, we went to the Creekside Community Church in San Leandro last Sunday? We went there before, and I didn't like it. I was looking for a friendly church, where I could feel welcome. People at the Creekside were nice enough, but I didn't feel, like I was wanted. Since then my priorities shifted. I began to understand, and I am paraphrasing it: it's not what a church can give you, it's what you can give to a church.... Besides, the reasons to go there should be wider, than just for finding some buddies...
This time, when I arrived to the Creekside Church with Roberta and Sonny in tow, I felt very differently. During my last visit there, they sang unfamiliar songs, adding to my feeling of alienation. Now the congregation sang "Be thou my vision" - a hymn by an Irish saint, Dallan Forgaill. I'm, somewhat, familiar with it, and the words of gratitude and devotion to God couldn't fail to move me. The pastor, who already spoke at an earlier service, was a little hoarse, but he talked of the chapter in Acts, where the early Christians discuss, whether the Gentiles should have to follow Jewish law in order to be considered as true believers in Christ. This question of inclusion or exclusion of people, according to the ruling clique's views, is very close to my heart. It was fascinating to hear the pastor explain the historical background of that part of the Gospel and describe, how some of the prominent figures of Christianity, like Paul, Peter, James and Barnabas, felt about the topic.
The result of the discussion, which drew the participation of every member of the early church, was that, beyond urging the Gentiles to avoid the sin, they should not be compelled to accept Judaism in order to be true Christians:
"AND I WILL REBUILD THE TABERNACLE OF
DAVID WHICH HAS FALLEN, AND I WILL REBUILD ITS RUINS, AND I WILL RESTORE IT, SO THAT THE REST OF
MANKIND MAY SEEK THE LORD, AND ALL THE GENTILES WHO ARE CALLED BY MY NAME."
For the first time in a very long while the words of a pastor got through to me to move my heart even to a point of tears.