The Great Love and Raspberry Pie

October has arrived and we have one busy month of school behind us that included an opening day of school, a spirit day and pep rally, a senior retreat, a picture day, a Chick Fil-a spirit night, and the start up of the instrumental music program, high school elective start-ups, and the beginning of the Title 1 tutoring program. Administratively speaking, it was a very busy month of September. Fortunately for me, at the end of the month I was able to fly to Maine to celebrate my grandmother's 95th birthday with my family. This gave me one day off from school to be with my loved ones in Maine where the apples were ripe for the picking, the autumn leaves were beginning to show their colors, and the air was fresh, crisp, and cool. Oh, and my grandmother's birthday was my birthday too. I like to think that I am the best birthday gift she ever got, but that is just my opinion...

I look forward to my weekends. After a week of work at school, I appreciate some quiet time at home to read, to putter around the house doing odd jobs, to launder my clothes and buy my groceries so I am ready for the next week, and to go to church on Sunday where I get to help lead worship and I get to hear the Word of God. While in Maine, I still did some laundry, a smidge of grocery shopping, a bit of reading, and an odd job or two, but I also got to spend time with my family catching up on the events and changes since my last visit at Christmastime. I received the gift of raspberries from Connie Morehead, a family friend, and my mother transformed them into a delicious pie which served as my birthday cake, at least in my mind, since I prefer a good pie to cake any day. I got to hold the newest member of the Dunbar family in my arms, 1-year-old Cooper, my brother Tim's son, and feel the calm joy that a little, innocent life gives when you are able to embrace it. I had a chat with my mom on her porch and was able to help my sister with her laptop and my dad with his digital photos. There were some great meals and precious moments with my Grammy Manzo who seemed 95 years young on her birthday - all smiles and laughter.

I say all this because I am thinking about something Pastor Lange said to me as we drove to the senior retreat last month. We live in a universe of love. This is God's universe. The universe seems infinite to us, but it is surrounded and permeated by its Creator who is Love. Colossians 1:17 says, "And He is before all things and in Him all things consist." God spoke the Word and everything came into existence, and Hebrews 1:3 says that He "upholds all things by the word of His power." I was reading in the book of Job this morning that if God were to gather to Himself His Spirit and His breath, we would all return to dust. The fact that I draw a breath, that I am able to enjoy a bite of raspberry pie or a ride from the airport with my dad in his car, is that Love is making it all possible. I heard a character in a TV show say, "A little love is easy to see, but it is hard to see a great love." We notice a the first flakes of snow falling from the sky at the first snowfall of the year and perhaps feel a bit excited and think it is beautiful; but in the middle of winter, surrounded by the snow, we don't really notice the snow in that same way, because there is so much of it. We notice a little love, like a little light, in a dark place. Do we really notice the light at noon when the sun is overhead beaming down on us? Do we realize how we are surrounded by the love of God, like the snow in winter or the sunlight at noontime? It is so great, so vast, so everywhere present, that we overlook it. It takes effort to recognize and revel in the everyday infinity of God's love. We are the objects of that great love.

I see a beautiful crescent moon and think, "God loves me." I hear the soft sigh of the water flowing back into the ocean after a wave breaks on the shore and think, "He loves me." I hold my little nephew in my arms and smell his baby shampoo scented hair and think, "God, you really love me." I need to remind myself of this truth over and over again, especially when times are tough and the enemy of my soul tries to tell me that God has forsaken and that God doesn't care. The biggest lie in the universe, that is. The God who created raspberries and the ladies who pick them and cook them into pies - yes, Him - He loves me.

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