You Aren’t Dollarama.

We were sitting in the sanctuary yesterday about to start our Sunday service. It was 1:55, and most everything had been set up (or so I thought). Had opened the doors, gotten the song books out, put communion on the table, and gotten distracted by lighting the advent candles for the first time ever. I was so pleased to have a special job, that I forgot to set up a couple of things, including our singing bowl and offering basket. This was not a big deal in the slightest. We all participate in our Sunday service, as a staff and community. A community member had noticed the offering basket was missing and found it herself to place at the front. This kind of participation is encouraged, if not celebrated. I am not the sole setter-upper for one day, none of us are.

In a joking way I said out loud, “Oh man! I forgot the offering basket. Who even let me in here? Sheesh!” A friend and fellow community member was sitting in front of me. She tends to take things literally, not necessarily noticing sarcasm. “Well Mama Meagan…” she said (this is her affectionate nickname for me). “You aren’t Dollarama. You were made to make mistakes.”

I was very confused. I looked at Erinn for guidance and she also was confused. “Say that again?”

“You aren’t Dollarama. You were made to make mistakes.”

She went on to explain that at Dollarama there are no exchanges and no refunds. If you buy the wrong thing in a mistake, then you’re stuck with it. She much prefers our local small discount shop called Budget, where you can’t return for a refund, but can at least make an exchange.

I was amazed at my friend. She often makes up little expressions like this, or actions to songs we sing during church like her own sign language, and funny little puns. Her wisdom and grace was a gift to me in that moment in the form of an expression that was a riddle to me. Of course now it makes perfect sense.

I am thankful for grace which allows me to make mistakes, that I have encouragement upon forgetting, and that I am joined by a community of other people that are happy to participate in our service. I am thankful for my friend and her sayings that mean so much. I know Christmas can be an overwhelming season where fatigue is high and patience is low. I hope you remember this week that it is okay to make mistakes. We are not perfect. We get the chance to repair.

You are not Dollarama!

I am a Community Worker at The Dale Ministries in Parkdale. In order to do this work, I must fundraise my entire salary! It is only possible through generous financial gifts from people like you that I can spend time with this community that I love. I invite you to consider giving, by visiting and indicating that your gift it for me. Thank you!