You all have been asking for my reflections on Pittsburgh and I finally had some time to sit down and gather my thoughts. I was going to try to write everything in three posts, but it's getting long, so look forward to a series of all things Pittsburgh.
This post will kick-off the Good!
The best thing to happen to me in Pittsburgh is my Pittsburgh family. I've written about them here too. My Pastor, his wife, kids and their cousins and THEIR friends have been a tremendous blessing to me. My Pastor is one of nine children from a family in Brooklyn, NY. I think because of this, family is a huge theme in their household. His adult son and wife and adult daughter and husband live within a one-mile radius of my Pastor and his wife. At any given time, there could family in town from New York and they'll gladly accept them as houseguests. Many times my Pastor's nephews and nieces have found a home in Pittsburgh and my pastor and the church treat them like immediate family.
We have dinner together every Sunday. When they had pastor's appreciation Sunday, I sat at the Pastor's specia table for his family. My pastor's wife is my local emergency contact (This also just mades good sense because she's a lawyer and who better to have as an emergency contact, than your lawyer). This adopton of me and others is fascinating to watch. It reaffirms my faith in family and just shows me a different way to do things.
My pastor's kids are now my friends. I've attended both of their weddings and out of those unions have formed other friendships. I'm on baby shower lists and Christmas party lists. Living in a place where most people went to high school or college together and have bonds that are older than 10 years old, I cannot take for granted the fact that they allowed me to infiltrate those circles.
The welcoming, open-hearted, unconditional love that they've shown me has helped me to be more welcoming and open-hearted and hopefully I'll be able to show someone else the love they've shown to me.
I sort of want to have Sunday dinner with my family every week they way they do. I've never had a desire like that before. I also don't like random people in my home (cousins, new church members or otherwise) and again, this has helped me to view what I have to give in life in a different way.
Even more than that, they're community activists and dinner table conversation is always full of passionate discourse. These are people who aren't hung up on the rules of the Bible, but more interested in practicing the high standards of the Bible.
They are the icing on my cake of good things in Pittsburgh.