Reflections (Wholly Ramblings) – April 25th
Over this past month, I’ve been reflecting on the things I learned being Jim Sawyer’s daughter and growing up in our family. When your father is a minister, he is at the heart of the church community and sets the tone for worship and engagement with parishioners. I remember his joyful approach and the way that many of his sermons were centered on Christ’s love as a foundation for life.
In our home, we grew up listening to Dad’s playful banter with friends when they would visit or talk on the phone. Dad enjoyed laughter, but he was always open to a deeper conversation if something more serious was going on. Our parents valued the people they knew, and that led to their lives being filled with friendship and community.
I learned how to be a good friend by watching my dad make friends and keep in touch with them over the years, in person and by phone. What makes someone a good friend? They care about you. They really listen to you and try to understand your truth, even when it is not their shared experience. You know that they love you because they show it in their actions. They consistently “show up” for you, offering support and encouragement by simply being there. Things that may seem like small gestures become something much more when done consistently over a lifetime. Our dad always showed up for us. He kept in touch on a regular basis, and when we grew up and moved away we still spoke daily. Many times the conversations were short and sweet, with him just wanting to say hello and hear our voices.
We always knew that our dad loved us by his words and his actions, and both were important. The Bible reminds us “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:18) We are called upon to be reflections of Christ in the way we move through the world. We are all reflections of each other, our families and our communities.
Jim’s daughters, Kathryn and Eleanor, want to thank you for being a part of our parents’ loving community. His warm spirit was a reflection of you, and we will continue to be reflections of him.
~ Kathryn Sawyer