On a bright, clear and bitterly cold day in January, I set out along with others to attend a funeral. We have all made these journeys where we show up in the difficult circumstances of life to support our friends. It is never easy to enter into someone’s pain – especially grief, but it is always important. And on this day, I would show up to care for someone else, but I would walk away changed.
By all accounts, Sterling Fitzgerald was well-rounded and accomplished in many areas. She was a gardener, musician, photographer, volunteer, loyal employee, and devoted matriarch. It was obvious that she had invested herself in others in countless ways. Ironically, the story that would play over in my mind following the funeral involved dominoes.
Sterling’s grandchildren shared that she was always up for a game of dominoes and was a fierce competitor at that. It became clear in that moment of retelling that this time together was so much more. The simple act of playing dominoes had become a treasured memory. It represented time set aside to share conversation, laughter, and pure joy. It was an intentional pause in all other activity to really be present. I was reminded of the ways that Jesus modeled that for us. He made time for people. He met them where they were in life, but he also shared joy in the journey. May we never grow weary in loving others and always be intentional about discovering simple joy. And may we also remember as Annie Dillard says, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” So, will you join me as we look for our “dominoes” in the everyday?
– DeNeal Fowler