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Friday, February 24, 2012

Can I Do This for You?

I promise that I will not subject you to 40 days of proselytising, but I have made it to daily Mass (yes, good counting: that means both times so far this week. And got ashes!) and I'm already convinced that it isn't just a few days' springlike weather in London that has given us all a bounce in our step. I feel the slowing down, the thoughtfulness, the reflection and light that I've been needing.

The hymn below, "Servant Song," has been in my head all week.  One of my favorites. It applies to so much of life. To marriage, families, and friendship. I may have already printed the lyrics and given them to you at some point. (Also Elizabeth Foss' column "Don't Blink" but that's a discussion for another day! Stop Blinking! Unless you are sleeping. That is very important.) Whenever I'm at Mass and see "Servant Song" will be sung, I'm pretty certain it is God winking at me saying, "Here's your song!  Hooray and thanks for coming!" (Because that's really how He talks, right?!)

I often give this hymn to friends when they are moving. We've just heard that 2 wonderful school families who've been very good to us are planning moves. One dear family we adore (4 children, 2 girls and 2 boys just the ages of our smalls but their girls are their oldest - what are the chances?) already moved to France. We can only be thrilled for our friends to begin new adventures in exciting places, but it sure feels funny to be graduating to being a more experienced parent at the school already. Being the new family is nice. Comforting in an ignorance is bliss sort of way. So I am ramping up all my questions to ask of them all before they leave.

Having queried friends whose corporate and military lives have made them move much more frequently than we have, I understand that there are benchmarks for settling in to life in a new place. It has been said that you feel somewhat adjusted in a new home and town within about six months, at a year you've begun to really make friends, and at 18 months those friendships become very strong. I certainly agree with that as it has been our experience, too. This time, though, we feel like we're on fast forward. On Valentine's Day last year, the Mister and I were here house hunting. I must pause here and give a cheer to our lovely friend who kept our 4 children for an entire week while we house and school hunted. She is still speaking to us and the children had likely their favorite week ever in her care. (We're also very lonely for her and hope she'll visit us this summer!  Hint, hint and hurry over!) So we have not quite lived in London a year. And yet, we have dear neighbors and wonderful friends. We love our school. We are home. We are blessed. 

It was lovely being out for Mass so early this morning, walking a regular route and discovering yet again that London is a city of little neighborhoods full of familiar faces. On the way to and from church I chatted with our Spanish trash man (we were so tickled to run into each other blocks from where we usually meet - at my back door!), the Scottish nun from our parish, and our very Irish handyman (who seemed positively delighted to learn I was just coming from Mass!). I had a renewed spirit before it was even time to head out to take the kids to school.

Now while I host a (cheese) pizza party for the smallest people, the Mister and Biggest Brother are back at school to play the drums with the school's Deputy Head Teacher and Biggest Brother's assistant teacher on guitars. Friday Guys' Night Out. In the basement of our sweet little school. 

Mostly, tonight I'm sending this in hopes that you'll let me be your servant.

The Servant Song

Will you let me be your servant
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I might have the grace
To let you be my servant too

We are pilgrims on a journey
We are brothers on the road
We are here to help each other
Walk the mile and bear the load

I will hold the Christ light for you
In the night time of your fear
I will hold my hand out to you
Speak the the peace you long to hear

I will weep when you are weeping
When you laugh, I'll laugh with you
I will share your joy and sorrow
Till we've seen this journey through

When we sing to God in heaven
We shall find such harmony
Born to all we've known together
Of Christ's love and agony

Will you let me be your servant
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I might have the grace
To let you be my servant too

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