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Extraordinary Moments

"Theological puzzle: Why don't we call Pentecost season ‘extraordinary time’ - awareness & attention of the spirit inhabiting the world?" Diana Butler Bass

Ordinary time in the church is only two weeks old, and I am already encountering some extraordinary events.

First, I finished the embroidery project that I started during Holy Week. It has been fun watching it go through the stages of development from blank fabric and threads to a design, and finally to a small box.

Second, my cats killed a mouse. We're pretty sure we know which one actually did it, but neither of them was taking credit the next morning. It certainly was not what Dave was expecting to find in the middle of the kitchen floor in the morning (I'll spare you that photo). It's good to know that their late night staring under the stove actually meant something.

Third, the fly that was annoying me the other night chose to drink too deeply from my glass of water and drowned.

OK, so none of these are "Praise the Lord" types of moments. The cat and I get to enjoy a brief sense of accomplishment. The fact that I looked in the glass before drinking was definitely a "thank God" moment.

But, I did have one extraordinary event happen.

During Lent congregation members were encouraged to take piggy banks and fill them with change to be sent to the ELCA World Hunger program. I had counted the money, but still had all the coins. On May 22 we did a Noisy Offering collection during worship, also for ELCA World Hunger.

So last week it was finally time to take all the change to the Coinstar counting machine at my local grocery store. When using Coinstar you can exchange the coins for cash, but there's a 10% charge, so I typically exchange coins for an Amazon gift card for the full amount. When all was done I had a hefty Amazon gift card and some paper bills that I hadn't pulled out of the coin pile.

I put everything into the bag in which I had brought the coins. I did some grocery shopping, put everything in the car and went home.

On Thursday I had this nagging feeling that I hadn't seen the bag, but I figured it was still in the car.

On Friday, the nagging feeling turned into dismay. The bag was nowhere to be found. I decided I would stop by the store and see if anyone had at least turned in the bag. I had no great expectations about what the end result would be and I was prepared to bite the bullet and make up the funds I had so stupidly lost.

But no, the bag had been turned in. The Amazon coupon was there. All of the cash was there. It was an extraordinary moment. Just when your expectations are at their lowest, people seem to shine their brightest.

So today I am glad that St. Stephen's is able to send $300 to the ELCA World Hunger program (that's 10 pigs). And I'm glad that the Holy Spirit was with whoever turned in the bag and the money and reminded me of the goodness of people.

- Ann Warner

(Are you having extraordinary moments during this ordinary time? Share them in the blog comments, or on Facebook.)

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