I lived on a farm in Vermont for several years growing up. I still remember a license plate on a farmer's car that read 'Quiet.' They were Quakers and did quiet work and quiet worship.
When we prayed together we prayed in silence and the prayer ended with the squeeze of hands traveling silently around the table. And I was sent home to change when I showed up for dinner wearing shorts. This only happened once. This custom was the same whether it was a summer Monday or Christmas dinner.
These days, Christmas with my family includes four generations, is eardrum numbing and the fashion is diverse. The only quiet is during pre-dinner prayer.
I love our Christmases and look forward to it every year. But as the cars drive away and the crowd is reduced to immediate family, a quiet descends and I am grateful.
Grateful for family, present and departed. Grateful for farmers and food, carpenters and shelter. Grateful for teachers and learning, nurses and health. Grateful for Quakers and quiet. Grateful for meaningful work and the lessons that come, every day, for those who serve at InFaith and who teach us about generosity often, in their quiet way.
Wishing you a blessed Christmas,
Chris Andersen, President & Executive Director