We Do Our Best

We all make mistakes. 

I’ve been refinishing a coffee table that has endured some punishing treatment. The task is about a six–part process with the stripping, the sanding, the pre-staining, the staining, the wiping down with mineral spirits and finally finally finally: the finish coat. I got all he way to that last step but left the windows open as I worked on that balmy Indian summer day and some kind of ‘particulate matter’ dust? pollen? settled out of the air and made my new finish, once it had dried, feel like stubble on an unshaven cheek.

And this picture at the left? This is  what I routinely do with our foods. Our new microwave is a mighty all right! This lava spill is really oatmeal, made the “quick” way (if you don’t count how long it took to clean up the mess.)

We apologize as we go for our mistakes.

My column last week was about this subject and in response to it a new friend from Tennessee wrote me.  I had written him to say I knew I was late offering my greetings on the High Holidays but that  had been thinking of him on Yom Kippur, especially, which was the day I wrote this piece on contrition and forgiveness.

He wrote right back. “Thank you.,” he wrote. ” May God bless you and keep you and make His countenance known to you. Thinking of and praying for you as well. Shanah Tovah and Chag Sameach Sukkot.”

And that reference to Numbers 6:24reminded me of one of the I used to get to sing over the 320 year period when I was part of our awesome church choir. Do you know John Rutter? This is one of his as he sets to music this lovely verse:

The LORD bless you  and keep you;  the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious unto you; the LORD turn his face toward you  and give you peace.”

Here it is now by the Cambridge singers. See if this doesn’t just give you shivers.