Today we concluded another miraculous garage sale in Van Wert, Ohio. We had to sell a good bit of our furniture, as many items would not fit in our new parsonage in Chicago, Illinois. I say miraculous because, given the nearly 16% unemployment rate in Van Wert county, I didn't think it would be possible that we would sell our refrigerator, washer and dryer, hutch, dry sink, table and chairs, corner desk, wicker dresser set, etc., etc., etc...
Yet, we did.
When all was nearly said and done we packed the four kinds in Grandma and Grandpa Allen's van and sent them off to the lake, leaving my wife and I to finish up the sale, clean up, and then pack for the weekend in Michigan.
I was pondering this, my first official weekend as the former pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Van Wert, Ohio, while doing the post-sale clean up behind the garage. There I found the little treasure pictured above that expresses the feelings of our whole family.
The picture is of the back-side of a piece of the broken church bell. In my eldest daughter's handwriting is the message:
"from the O'Donnells
"God bless thease good pepple"
We'll forgive her the spelling, but that is exactly our prayer, that these people here at Emmanuel will be greatly blessed in the days and weeks and months and years ahead. They supported us heart and soul, and even as we make our preparations for St. Philip in Chicago we are profoundly thankful for the people of Emmanuel...and we always will be.