My coffee smells so good this morning, and the birds are singing a full opera as I step out onto the patio. It’s swampy and gloomy out this morning, but the colors of the neighborhood flowers are bursting through the dawn—it seems to be a good year for roses. Southeast Missouri is beautiful in every season. My morning arising ritual includes some time for prayer and meditation. It was exactly one year ago when my morning prayers were overwhelmed with pleas for healing for my assistant, Gerard. We nearly lost him to a major head injury, and his health has been the focus of numerous morning prayer sessions over the past year. This morning, however, my prayers were filled with gratitude—that Gerard is thriving (we hung artwork on the newly painted lobby walls yesterday.) Oh, and speaking of: newly painted lobby walls, a nearly completed restored Log Cabin College roof, a new lobby mural, new museum main gallery flooring, new LED lighting, new security system upgrades, and the 4,600 square ft. (upper and lower) building expansion—my cup is overflowing.
All of this celebration, comes in the midst of a very challenging time for a leader. How do we move forward within this new ‘pandemic’ landscape we live in? How do we respect the safety needs of our patrons and volunteers in the midst of strong feelings in every direction regarding an epidemic with international concentration?History might give us some direction. Immediately after arrival to Perry County, in 1839, the immigrants to our little region faced epidemic after epidemic. The loss of life from yellow fever, cholera, typhus, and other infections—caused by exposure and overwork to build these settlements—was something we can barely fathom. Some days, the number of deaths was near beyond enduring. How did they survive these times, in a foreign place, cold, hungry, and ill? My answers are varied, but I suppose, they never stopped believing that God was in their midst. Their values of family, faith, and a hope for a better life in a new homeland sustained them. Also, they had no choice. Like us, they had to move forward or curl up and die. It is this same hearty, God-loving, resilient humanity that I celebrate in my prayers this morning. People who: write incredible faith-filled sustaining blogs for us more than 60 days in a row without a break (did you notice?); people who fight through head injuries and cancer to greet each of you with positive messages and service; people who sacrifice tremendous personal wealth and time, in order to provide the money and sweat equity to preserve (and enhance) the places and stories of this culture; people who readily step forward to hem curtains, wash windows, scrub toilets, and run to the store to supply this place with the necessary materials to function daily; people who near and far help us support this mission to document, preserve, and interpret the stories that illustrate this living history. My cup is overflowing.
As you literally stop and smell the roses today, please say a little prayer of celebration for this site and the people who, with the help of God, keep it moving forward.
Take care of yourselves and be safe, as we venture back out into this beautiful world of communion with each other. I pray that we can all be together, soon. My cup is overflowing. Love, Carla Jordan