I've had the most wonderful time tonight.
It's odd, because in fact what I did was spend three-plus hours painting faces at the church's National Night Out event. My hips hurt, my back hurts and I suspect there's a mess I'll have to clean up at work tomorrow. But I had the most amazing time. In part because, in the background, three other churches were doing their part to make National Night Out an amazing event -- with lots of food, great local entertainment, park-run games and fun, a series of prize drawings... and of course the face-painting. There might have been even more, but I was only able to glance over my shoulder occasionally as the night unfolded. I could hear the awesome music of Leonard Knight & family, and the puppet performances from Bethel Christian Fellowship that everyone apparently loved -- and maybe there was more, again, I don't know. Kids were running and laughing and having a good time. No one seemed unduly stressed out. Hundreds of people attended. It was everything we could have hoped for. I give my thanks to God that I'm so blessed, to be so ridiculously overworked these days, in the service of love. Face-painting beats bookkeeping any day, but I'll take all that and more -- if we can keep giving out food and care for so many, with such success. I'm grateful too for all the hard work of so many volunteers from my church and others -- the Churches of Logan Park. Without every single person on hand tonight, it couldn't have gone so well. I think we can be proud of this event, and I particularly think NECL can be proud of how far we've come in just a little over a year. We are truly blessed in this work. What a joy it is to see the faces of so many little kids -- children of every hue and background -- eating and smiling, having a good time -- and to see their parents smiling too. How wonderful.