- by Erick Scheminske, Trinity Finance Committee Chair, from his witness during November 6, 2016 worship
So, before today, the last time I stood near the front of this particular room and said anything anybody really wanted to hear, it was January 8, 2000, and the only two words anybody cared to hear from me then were “I” and “do.” And I only had to talk to one person, not several hundred!
Thinking about that day has got me thinking about a friend I’d like to introduce you to. My wife, Sharon, and I met this friend around the time of our wedding and we liked her pretty well at the time. But we really didn’t start to get to know her until a couple of years after that, when we accepted an invitation to celebrate Easter with her. We were so charmed, we decided to keep scheduling get-togethers with her.
Almost immediately, she took us in as if we were family. She knew a lot of people, and introduced us to a few of them who have now become some of our most trusted friends.
She’s been with us through some difficult times of loss, sickness, and sadness. But she’s also been present at some of the most joyous times of our lives – our wedding, the baptisms of our two children (Reagan and Parker), and so many other moments of growth and discovery.
She has challenged us in so many ways. She’s asked us to be teachers, and she’s helped us learn how to do it effectively. She’s asked us to be leaders, and she’s given us the space to make mistakes as we’ve grown in that capacity. She’s asked us to think about God, and about Christ, and about mission in different ways than we did when we were younger.
She’s a mighty forgiving friend. As happens with all friendships, sometimes we get too busy to reach out and touch base with her. In fact, over the years, we will sometimes go for long periods without visiting with her at all (this happens mostly during ski season). No matter what, though, every time we see her she greets us with the same warmth and compassion as the first day we met her.
Over the last few years, our friend has had some health issues, and has undergone several surgeries. We tried to support her as best we could through those times, and we rejoiced with her last year as she seemed to come through the last of those surgeries somehow stronger, in spite of her advancing age.
Then, in June, she tripped and fell, and injured the lower part of her body again. This has been a tough injury for her – she’s had a much harder time than normal getting around and welcoming her wide body of friends into her presence, and we’ve heard from some that she doesn’t seem quite as kind as she used to.
Well, I’m happy to say that our friend is almost completely healed, and I can tell you with certainty that she’s back to her old self! In fact, she might be even better than her old self, and I’m excited to so see what she has in store for us next!
Our friend, Trinity, has been there for us for the entirety of our almost 17 years of marriage, and for the entirety of both of our children’s lives. She’s been a truly remarkable friend to our family, just as I’m sure she’s been a friend to each and every person in this room, even if you’re meeting her for the first time today.
I am a better person because of my friendship with Trinity. And for that reason alone, I consider it a great, great privilege to share a little bit of my time and treasure with her. She’s a strong and thriving old woman, but she depends on all of us to keep her that way.
So, as you contemplate making or renewing your commitment to our friend, Trinity, I hope you take some time to consider how she has made a difference your life, and how you can best make a difference in hers.
And thanks to all of you for your friendship.