As we begin our Advent and Christmas celebrations together here at our St. Arbucks’ “Office”, it is already decorated with reds and whites and seasonal music. Baristas have their red aprons glowing and, for the most part, it feels like the same place we’ve been for years. But there is one big difference this time. Our friend, Charlie Mueller, is absent. Since his illness months ago, he had not been able to join us, but a few of us kept connected with him by bringing our St. Arbucks to his place where we took over part of the lobby area and made it “home” for a while, minus the baristas!
Our session today focused on the question, “Who has been a “Charlie” to us in our own lives, and still may be? We agreed that we all have our “Charlie’s – those people around us, or even far from us, who continue to support, encourage, connect and help us serve and share as we continue to celebrate God’s gift of aging. We are forced to become more aware and intentional about their ministries to us at times like this – when someone close to us is called to their heavenly home. The group agreed that we all could be more intentional and aggressive in keeping more closely connected with our own “Charlies”, who we sometimes take for granted and fail to keep in touch as often as we might. And for those of us who do not feel that they have a “Charlie” in their life at this point, it is not too late to go and find that person who will be your friend, your confidant, your prayer partner, and your mentor. Believe us, they are all around us if we’d only look and listen for them!
We became more involved when another question begged to be discussed, “Who are each of us “Charlies” to? Who in our lives, past and present, have we touched and nurtured and laughed with, and even cried with through the years? Recall the people who the Lord has put into our lives, for a few days, many months, oodles of years, or even a lifetime. They are all around us, if we seek them intentionally and connect with them honestly. The Lord knew for sure that I needed many “Charlies” around me, and that is why he blessed me with so many of them, from my early years and even now. I started to list them but then knew that if I did, I would certainly leave some of them out. So, all I can thankful shout is YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE OUT THERE! I say “Thanks” and “God’s blessings” to each of you for being a “Charlie” to me, certainly including the one named Charlie Mueller, Sr.!
Let each of us continue to share the gifts and support of the “Charlies” around us. Those who know us and who still love and forgive us; Those who are far away but still make phone calls; Those who send e-mails just to say HI; those who even send birthday cards, even with the cost of stamps increasing; and especially, those who continue to pray regularly for us, as we share our Oneness in the Lord Jesus!
Thanks for the “Charlies” in our lives, Lord. And thanks, Lord, for allowing us to be a “Charlie” to others!
And that’s what’s brewing at St. Arbucks today!