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This seemed an appropriate ‘share,’ especially given some of the bikers in our household. Great analogy on what it means to be privileged or not.
My grandmother, Thirza Emily Marshall Sayers, was an amazing woman. She went by T to most, Mama T and Aunt T to some of us lucky ones. She was a lady, a farmer, a hunter, a world traveler, a cook and a canner. As a girl, I would can jelly, jam, pickles and chili sauce with her during the summer. Her cellar was always stocked: floor to ceiling.
So, as the Lotus house inventory of ripe tomatoes began to take over the kitchen, I heard a call to can.
T Rex and I have just moved into the Lotus House. We spend part of our week working @ SayersBrook Bison Ranch and serving the Presbyterian Church in Potosi. The other part of the week we sell and deliver the bison meat in and around St. Louis, and I do my church planning/meditating/liturgizing/writing while in the Lou. T Rex is my trusty companion, a certified assistance animal, super smart and very well loved. T Rex and I are celebrating our two year anniversary of meeting our Lotus friends. We met at a Community of Communities dinner @ Lotus and it was all over–I nearly brought a bag with me to the next Tuesday community dinner…of course, not fully understanding the intentionality of it all, but fully appreciating the hospitality, and hungry for the friendship.
God Provides A Way: How a bison rancher & part-time pastor from Potosi made it to Lotus
Maude of Maude’s Market, a local food provider, was a bison customer of mine and knew of my pastoral call. Her housemate, Hector, was a Fulbright scholar from Mexico City; he was working on a masters in feminist theology at St. Louis University. So, Maude connects us, Hector and me, so that he might have a real-life case study. The locavore connects the bison pastor to the Mexican theologian, the theologian is connected to the Claver House, and the Claver House is connected to the Lotus House. So, by transitive property, I am connected to the Lotus House and GOD is AWESOME.
God Provides Community
You would think that, between a church full of folks, a pastoral pup, and a herd of bison, your need for community might be satiated. But, you’d be wrong. The church folks are awesome, but there are certain boundaries clergy should keep and having friends outside of one’s congregation is vital to self and ministry. Second, there are few animals that could surpass T Rex in terms of intelligence and love (although Will Terry insists a Dolphin is smarter.!?), but he IS a dog…I sometimes must remind myself of this. And the bison…the bison are excellent listeners, often a source of entertainment as they romp and frolic, a great source of protein, but do not provide the necessary friendships to sustain one’s soul.
I quickly became a fixture at the Tuesday Community dinners. Not only was the food delicious, but the folks were so authentic, available, intelligent, and caring. I could show up with food, without food, with laughter or with tears, and I was welcome just as I was.
I am heard, if I need to be heard. Fed, if hungry. Often entertained. Given space to be me, but at times pursued with loving care. Frequently inspired.
How do these Lotus people do it? –the wisdom, the knowledge, the love and care. How could we do it without the daily rhythm of scripture readings and prayers, morning and night, a.m. and p.m, mañana y noche. God-Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer. …and then there is the food, which is super yummy but also a good reminder of Christ as we gather around the table.
God Provides a Home
Until recently I rented a tiny apartment in University City, but my lease was up and…. Since my first church retreat and after every mission/service trip and retreat since then, I have wondered how awesome it would be if ‘this’ were not just a weekend or week or month, but a life, a way of living– To live in Christian community, to have God-talk at breakfast, to serve God’s people together, to be annoyed by housemates but love them anyway and to be loved anyway… T Rex and I are blessed to be at home now @ the Lotus House.