Top of the afternoon to all...
My colleagues and I make every effort to connect with our people on an emotional level. We care about the folks under our spiritual charge, and truly want the best for them.
Most of the time, our people say thank you. Sometimes they do not, but we know that the sense of gratitude is very much there.
Every once in a while, they return the care we try to give them in the most resonant of ways.
I conducted a funeral for someone several years back. The daughter of the deceased was having some emotional difficulty afterwards. She came to see me. We had a good meeting, but it got cut short because I forgot that I had something to do with Jennifer later that evening. I felt terrible. We had also accomplished a great deal at that meeting. She scheduled another meeting. She came at the appropriate time. She told me that we had in fact accomplished a great deal, but also knew that I felt terrible about having to cut our time short. She wanted to make sure that I was not still feeling terrible from the previous meeting.
When I was leaving my last pulpit, many people gave me small parting gifts. The only one that I remember, and the source of which I remember, was one that was specifically picked out with me in mind. It was a pocket-size tool kit for roadside bicycle work. Someone knew exactly what makes me tick.
And then there was today. Some time back, a woman contacted me for a chat. She was going through some very significant personal challenges. One part of that conversation focused on knitting.
(Fast-forward to today)
There was a small package in my mailbox today. She sent me a hand-knitted cap, her own handiwork, to fit under my bicycle cap. There have been many gifts and mementoes over the course of my rabbinate. I will always remember and appreciate this one. CR - Thank you. You have no idea how much this one means to me, and how much you have just been one of the people who takes care of me.
Have a good day everyone.