Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bean Bag Toss

Today is one of those days that brings a smile to my face.  Today is one of those days that reminds me why I love being a pastor.

On Reformation Sunday during the Sunday school hour all ages gathered to play and learn and experience the Reformation.  We had different activities and games and stations.  Pumpkins were carved and letters were written to those who aren't able to join us in worship.

The week began and I loaded my car with the pumpkins and cards.  One of my favorite stops is to a senior living facility, both assisted and independent.  As I walked into the building I noticed Jean, the sister of one of the congregation members, sitting in the living area.  She's with  a group of residents.  I greet her and share with her the pumpkins and cards.

"It's bean bag toss time.  Every Tuesday afternoon we play."

I've heard all about the bean bag toss game.  Every time I visit I hear how great Jean is and how many prizes she has won!  Even now I hear from her friends how Jean masters the bean bag toss.

The activities coordinator pairs them up and they are ready to play.

They get three bean bags each to toss during a turn.  Each bag is three points.  The first person to reach 21 is the winner.  Together we cheer and clap and encourage one another.  Of course there is also plenty of laughing when the bean bags end up far away from the hole.

Jean is up and her partner is Don.  Don is up first and he gets three in the hole right away.  Sitting next to me is the score keeper and she leans over and says to me, "Don can't see a thing."

I smile.  "Well, Jean can't hear so they are some pair!"

Jean and Don take turns and it is a close game.  Jean says, "I must be nervous with a guest."  She ends up losing.

Later I challenge Jean to a game and I must have beginner's luck because my first three bean bags go directly in the hole!  We all cheer.  Jean playfully feigns anger.

I win.  I go over and shake her hand.  

Jean says, "See what you have to look forward to?

I know she speaks with sarcasm.  Yet, I can't help but be grateful at this moment.

I see a community that gathers to play together.  To playfully tease one another.  And to encourage one another to do the best you can, however you can.  It's a joy to be in their presence.  It is a humbling gift.

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