In what seems like a long ago distant life, I was the Director of Stewardship and Donor Development for the Church of the Brethren national office based in Elgin, IL. That was my calling for almost 20 years.
At board meetings the finance people were always being conservative and talking about worst case scenarios. I was always talking about donations and gifts and how there was plenty and all we needed to do was to ask! Soon the staff and Board of Directors gave me the nickname “Mr. Sunshine.”
In this position at Garden Terrace Senior Living I do quite a bit of sitting at my desk in this position -- head down looking at my keyboard while I write. And my neck has started hurting because I’m not sitting up straight enough. I’ve become a down-looker. These days when I cross a parking lot, I find lost change all the time.
In fact, one of my donors back in church work days was a gentleman in Idaho who had had a heart attack a few years before I got to know him. As part of his recovery therapy he would walk back and forth through the local mall parking lot. When I met him he had collected jars and jars and jars full of coins he had found in that lot. His down-looking had worked out pretty well.
My down-looking has given me a pain in the neck. So now I’m practicing up-looking. And I’m noticing all kinds of new things. There are cobwebs in my office. The ceiling tiles have a few more stains than I realized. And there’s a light out on the top corner of our building.
But up-looking has other benefits too. I look people in the eye more and connect better with them. I notice the flowering trees and I am grateful not to have allergies. I know how many jet trails cross our valley every day. I don’t hurt when I look up. And, I feel better.
When I look around at the residents here at Garden Terrace I see some up-lookers, and I see down-lookers. And I don’t mean just visually. Attitudes can also be up-looking and down-looking. There seems to be both in this building. The pressures of the pandemic have probably increased our population of down-lookers.
But good old “Mr. Sunshine” has faith that as Garden Terrace moves through this 50th anniversary year, up-looking will become popular again. As one of our residents proclaim’s in the video on our website, “Even though people, society, look down on me, I’m looking up!”
Until next time,