It has been a little over month since JCC passed on to larger life. Throughout the course of his illness and in the 30+ days since his death, his partner and friend VG has commented on many occasions how amazed, even surprised, she is at the care and compassion she’s received from her church family. I’ll admit that I’m pretty proud at how Saint Paul’s has stepped up to support VG and her family over the past few months, but I’m keenly aware that her case is a special one. I’d like to think we’d rise up in the same way for everyone, but the reality is that people have been willing to go above and beyond because J and V have spent the last two decades sowing joy and gladness everywhere they went.
It isn’t just that our church has stepped up, but every community they’ve been a part of from social clubs to doctors offices have reached out in loving support for VG during these difficult days. J and V sow the Spirit. They bring with them smiles, laughter, compassion, and the occasional hard truth. When I was down and out with the flu, it was V and J who dropped chicken soup at my front door. When I missed V’s 80th birthday party, she wasn’t afraid to let me know of her disappointment. I had missed an opportunity for community. When volunteers were needed at Foley Elementary, J went, even as his eyesight failed him more and more each day.
As Paul told the Christians in Galatia, those who sow in the Spirit will reap eternal life. Even as she mourns, V is experiencing eternal life through the Spirit here on earth. Paul doesn’t leave us on our own to figure out what sowing the Spirit looks like. It isn’t dependent upon personality. You need not be an extrovert to make it happen. Instead, it is quite simply doing the right thing.
“So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.”