How was your week of “Chocolate Soup Time” with God? I hope you found joy in the thought that the Creator of the Universe smiles when you take time to chat with Him.
We are going to refocus our thoughts today on Love. Early in my counseling career I was asked by a teenage girl what “love” is. She was sincere. She and her siblings had been removed by the state from their parents’ home. Knowing that, I still asked her who had tucked her in at night. Probably one of my greatest fumbles as a counselor. She not only could not answer my question, she did not even know what “tucked in” meant.
“It’s when a grownup carefully tucks all the covers around you in your bed so you feel safe and cozy,” I tried to explain. My thinking was, the extra care taken to make sure a child feels safe and cozy at bedtime is one act of love. It was a starting point, or so I thought.
Her response was to describe for me a world where children put themselves to bed and got themselves to school while the adults entertained themselves with drugs and alcohol. She did not have a starting point for me to build on.
That experience is probably why Care Night at Platte Woods UMC is so near and dear to my heart. No, we are not offering to tuck our neighbors in at night! We can however, provide a hearty meal of comfort food along with some fellowship. And if you choose to stay for a group or class, that’s awesome but not a requirement.
What is Care Night? I’m so glad you asked. It’s an idea we borrowed from the Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. It is the one evening each week we set aside for renewing, restoring and rebuilding our mental, emotional and spiritual health. It is the evening we offer support groups and classes to meet these needs. Whether you are a church member or a community member or you just need some support, you are welcome.
Every Thursday we begin with a meal. The meal usually begins at 5:45 pm in our Dining Hall. Each week our volunteers prepare the best comfort food you can imagine. If possible, we appreciate a little notice that you will be coming and how many you will bring. Let’s say by Tuesday if you connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org that would be helpful. If you forget to contact me, that’s okay. We look forward to seeing you. We appreciate donations too but they are not required.
At 6:30 our classes and groups begin. Each semester these change so you might want to check out the Care page on our website to make sure you get the latest information. We do offer a Hope & Healing support group in the prayer room that stays open for folks new to Care Night. It is led by our Counseling interns who are prepared to listen with warmth and acceptance. No matter what your latest challenge is, they are here to offer encouragement and support.
If your childhood experience was similar to the teenage girl who asked me about love, we certainly cannot replace what you have missed. On the other hand, a meal and support group may go a long way towards a new understanding of love. At least, it’s a starting point.