So, we don’t have centuries of artistic history to brag about, but we do have “Art Prize.” We don’t have the country’s “best” symphony, zoo, botanical garden, or museums, but I still think they’re great, and they’re all just 3-8 miles from my house and a 5-15 minute drive away. And what I love best of all is the atmosphere! Last night Alan and I went to the big black-tie fundraiser for Metropolitan Hospital. The doctor who spoke had words of wisdom like: “I’ve learned to keep my words soft and tender, because sometimes I have to eat them the next day,” and “It’s not time that heals all things, it’s love and care.” And then, the entertainment was a comedian from Nashville. In some cities, that would be our cue to exit, but being GR, we took a chance on it, and the guy was truly funny without ever being crude or profane. I haven’t laughed so hard for a long time. Jeff Allen said he’d been married for 25 years and had been drug and alcohol-free for 24. His jokes were about family life, his kids, his wife, eating at the Cracker Barrel after church…tame…but with a distinct message of God’s goodness and lots of old-fashioned wisdom woven into the jokes. Very encouraging for the 50+ set. For example, he says that when your adult kids call to tell you that you’ve ruined their life (which is the popular thing to do these days), the appropriate response is that oft-used phrase they’ve been using on us for years: “Whatever!” Another solution: “Well then, why don’t you come back home, and we’ll try again. Mom and I have become much more mellow since our strokes. In fact, maybe you could help us find our house slippers…it’s like a treasure hunt every day around our house.” Fitness program? Sure, he sleep with weights around his ankles. Figures he burns and extra half a calorie every time he rolls over in his sleep. ETC. You can still enjoy entertainment in GR that is fun and G-rated!
And then, this morning we went to the worship service at our church, then scooted over to the church where Stephen has been hired to play on the worship team (before zipping back to our church for Sunday school). Who was speaking? The mayor of GR, Rev. Mayor George Heartwell, who’s an ordained minister. He went back to seminary at the tender age of 38…a very thoughtful, eloquent, and poetic guy. I love having a mayor who spends his spare time ministering in area churches! (Not many cities have a mayor like that, I’ll bet! 🙂 )
So, thank you, Lord, for letting me live in GR! It’s a great city, and I love it.
“And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be…and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace” (Jeremiah 29:7).