hamilton_ga_bfwhite_marker5bWith the rain trickling off the house today, I decided to stay inside and do some reading and writing. When the rhythm of the drops slowed, and the sun penetrated the gray clouds, it was time to go for a walk.

I live in downtown Hamilton, just off the square behind the Baptist Church. That should be my official address as that is exactly how I tell folks how to find us. Hamilton is such a sweet little town, especially in the spring. The city does a phenomenal job of keeping the square looking like a garden, with a rainbow of colors represented in the rows of flowers.

My mother’s birthday is this week, so I needed to mail her gift. Also, as Iron Man 3 is released this weekend, Molly and I needed to get caught up on the first two movies, in hopes that we might go on a date to see the new one. To my joy, the library had copies of both movies, so this made the trip even more worthwhile.

Literally everyone you meet in town is friendly; this is not an exaggeration. I remember the Sesame Street song “People In My Neighborhood,” and feeling that I never quite connected with it since there were never store owners, librarians, firemen, and the like in any neighborhood in which I lived. But not Hamilton. On my way, I stopped and chatted with no less than three kind people, all of whom know me and ask deeper, kinder questions than “How are you?”

imagesAt the library, our wonderful “stewards of the shelves” asked how St. Nicholas’ Capital Campaign was going. I told them that it was going well and that we were continuing our plans in hopes of moving forward with the project. On the way back, I saw my good friend Allen Levi and we talked about spiritual leadership, days of rest, and working outside. I stopped in the Post Office, and ran into our dear Assistant Treasurer Dorothy Webster who updated me on her recent vacation. I saw others on the street and greeted them as well. With the sun beaming now through the clouds and trees, it was easier to see the smiles on people’s faces.

I was gone only 20 minutes, and yet my spirit was renewed. I could have easily driven past the Baptist Church, the Post Office, the square, the shops, the courthouse, the bank-under-construction, and the gas station on my way to the library, but see all that I would have missed!

We live our lives in glass-and-metal boxes, rushing here-to-there. Not everyone lives in a town like Hamilton, but believe me, there are wonders to behold on the streets around us. Small, rural towns tend to be the treasure chests. If you haven’t visited one in a while, do so. Better yet, move to one and experience the grace and joy of the village.

Thanks be to God! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Jeff signature