Epistle #31: Good morning!

“Good Morning!” has been a common greeting for me to receive and extend to people that I’ve found in my life. And I always enjoyed the hug that went along with the greeting.  My mother’s mom, Grandma Grace, is the one who taught me how to hug, and of course, a sweet cookie or bar was soon to follow. Now, I miss all of this on Sunday mornings – our greetings, our shared handshakes and hugs, and of course, the cookies!

Do you have someone special who taught you a warm greeting when you came into their life? Or who seemed to always be there, in both good and bad times?  These were my care takers.  Grandma Grace taught me how to garden; my love of cannas comes from her. Whenever we kids stayed over with her and Grandpa John, she was the soft part of my day, greeting me in the morning and tucking me in at night.

Another very special caretaker of mine was Uncle Fred. He was eighteen years older than Dad and lived with us as they farmed together. My older brother Evan and I shared a bedroom with him; we were sure to be in bed and wanted to be asleep before him, so he wouldn’t keep us awake with his snoring. I was Uncle Fred’s buddy, his helper. I fetched the staple pail and held the wire when we made fence together. I helped hay the cows and cleaned up after them while he milked. I was Uncle Fred’s tag along, and he held watch over me. He knew when I was sad and or when I’d been in a fight with my brother; he knew what to say and do to make me feel better.

During my saddest times, I’ve turned to Job.  Here’s a man who had it all!  He enjoyed many possessions, a fine home, good friends. Best of all, Job had a joyful family, seven sons and three daughters, who feasted and celebrated together. It was a good life, and Job gave God credit for his good life.  But Evil was in the world and spoke with God saying, “Let hard times come to Job and Job will not be so happy.”  Yet, God was Job’s caretaker, and Job trusted in God’s love, the same love – and more – we feel with each greeting of “Good morning!”

These are very tough times. We can listen to the radio, watch TV, or read the news on our cell phones and know the forces that disrupt our lives.  COVID-19 is a part of our vocabulary and our voices. Instead, read Job to experience the love God has for us. Read Psalm 114 to know how God protects us. Pray your devotional to give voice to the power of God’s goodness.

Grandma Grace. Uncle Fred. These caretakers were a gift from God, with me then as I was growing up and now still so strong in my memories. God is our caretaker. May God’s love be a part of your life and may you freely give it to others today and always.  (And don’t forget the cookie!) Amen.


Church office phone: 515-462-4270
Church office email: StPaulLutheranChurch@hotmail.com
Pastor Brian Mortenson email: StPaulPastor1941@gmail.com
Pastoral Emergencies: 605-351-0867