The world’s wisest man, King Solomon, once observed, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22) A Biblical scholar once noted that reversing the lines of a verse sometimes enhances one’s perspective. Thus, “A crushed spirit dries up the bones, but a merry heart doeth good like a medicine.” Joy is the medicine that relieves, and sometimes prevents, the damage of despair.
Imagine the disappointment of being the child who isn’t armed with the basic equipment for learning. Consider the angst of parents struggling to, or unable to, provide those items. Now, remember your childhood excitement over starting school with your very own brand-new pencils and paper and crayons and glue. The contrast pulls at the heart. Overcoming need through joyful giving is the foundation of Trinity’s beloved tradition of collecting bookbags and school supplies to be given to rising kindergarteners at our partnering school, Eastway Elementary, a school educating children well-acquainted with poverty. Through this ministry, burdens are replaced by joy--joy seen in the smiles on faces depositing pencils on pews; joy felt in the generosity of checks and funds marked “Congregations for Children;” joy creeping into the do-si-dos around the pews on packing day; joy witnessed in the excited exclamations of Eastway’s social worker receiving 37 (mostly fully packed!) bookbags, extra school supplies, and the highly anticipated staff treats; and joy in the hopeful whispers for future plans by the delivery team afterwards. Joy springing from love not only battles crushed spirits, but joy is also seemingly contagious. Thank you, Trinity, for sowing love and joy in the name of our Lord.
Mary Beth Markham and Gwen Palmer
Congregations for Children Co-Chairs