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Still, after all these years...
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Still, after all these years, I'm astonished once again to discover that I'm popular. That people like me, want to spend time with me, want to talk to me. That so many people seek me out.

My childhood was broken into little fragments by the simple fact that we moved every 3 to 6 months, to a different town, different schools. I went to 21 different elementary schools by the time I reached junior high.

Each time I would just be making friends, getting to know other children, and we would move again. It strikes me now as extraordinary that in just couple of months I would have made friends--they were drawn to me. I was too shy and uncertain to very outgoing, but I was always happy to be included.

So it wasn't until high school, when my life had become more stable, that I discovered that my company was valued, that people knew me and liked me. I remember my surprise when I was voted Secretary of my class. Who, me? You even know who I am? Wow! And you like me and think I'm smart? Amazing!

Even to this day, when there's a day like today, I find myself filled with amazement and gratitude. People sought me out to talk to me after church. Two other groups were making day trip plans and tracked me down to find out if I wanted to go, too. When I stood still, trying to get my coffee to cool down enough to sip it, it was a pleasure to have people come over to talk to me, a shifting kaleidoscope of old friends and newcomers to the church.

I'm part of beloved community. And that is the fulfillment of a deep need to be connected and cherished. To know that people love you and enjoy your company and value your insights is a deep and abiding joy.

If the only prayer you ever say is, "Thank you", it will be enough.

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