Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Today Is Not My Birthday

Today is September 26th. It is not my birthday, anniversary, or anything. According to my calendar, it is just an ordinary day - nothing special. Wait! My calendar must have lied to me; today was a special day!

A friend sent an email saying that he wanted to meet with BK and me because he had something for us. Hmm . . .I wonder what it could be? Usually when someone wants to see me it is because they have a job for me to do. I realize this sounds a bit on the pessimistic side, but it is the truth. Under normal circumstances, I would have been more skeptical, but the person who wanted to see us is not someone I would expect to have an ulterior motive.

We agreed to meet at church tonight before choir rehearsal. We all pulled in to the parking lot about the same time. After a brief "hello", he pulled something from his pocket and said, "I made these for you." BK and I were each given a beautiful Anglican rosary that our friend had made for us. Hers is made with primarily green beads, her favorite color, and mine is blue, my personal favorite.

Though the bead color and the crosses are different on each of our rosaries, they have the same cruciform beads; though it is difficult to see in this mediocre picture, they are hearts. The use of the hearts on both sets of beads is meaningful to both of us. Ten years ago when we BK and I wrote our book on the Anglican rosary, it was truly a labor of love. That writing project was our first together, and the impetus for many that have come since.

The forethought, as well as the time and patience, that went in to the making of these beads touches me deeply. In these attributes, I am reminded fondly of our early work with the rosary.

I don't think that before tonight I even owned an Anglican rosary any more. I have had several over the years, but I always seem to give them away to someone who wants or needs the one I have. Because I haven't had a rosary, I have not been participating in this prayer practice recently. - a practice that was a big part of my daily discipline a few years ago. Being given this gift offers me the opportunity to make praying with the rosary a regular part of my prayer practice. As I sit here holding my new rosary, I am grateful for all that the rosary has meant to me in the past and I am thankful for all that this rosary holds (no pun intended).

Most of us expect gifts on our birthdays, or Christmas, or an anniversary. Often these gifts are chosen from a list that we have prepared personally and passed on to those who are buying the gifts. Though this kind of gift giving usually results in us receiving exactly what we want, it lacks any element of surprise or creativity on the part of the giver. Receiving these beads today, a day that was not particularly special when I got up this morning, made September 26th an extraordinary day. To be given an unexpected gift just because someone was thinking of me is the best kind of present.

I am having a hard time putting all of this into coherent words. Maybe all I should say is:

Thank you, Weber