This Shabbat encouragement is dedicated to Jerry Holbert, a blessed memory, who left our earthly home this week, a man of great love of others who knew how to bring fun, joy, humor, and love to us all, much like Lee Urban, the man who also inspired this message.
This spring I fell in love with a bike I saw in our community in Florida. It’s a Margaritaville Cruiser which comes complete with island motif and a parrot horn, not to mention a basket that could accommodate our fur baby Sofie. Yet as my birthday in April approached the bike was completely unavailable in the various stores where advertised and also unavailable on EBay.
So began the quest, and it was, but finally, to my delight, I found it a couple months later on EBay and Sid got it for me as a late birthday present in June. Shortly thereafter, and “coincidentally”, the leader of our Ukelele group Lee decided that week’s Zoom ukulele get together would be to honor Jimmy Buffet and of course to include “Margaritaville” in the line up. Since I was still doing cartwheels over finding the Margaritaville bike, I sent Lee a picture of my new bike. He went absolutely crazy about it and so began my quest for a male version in blue for him.
This amazing man has dedicated his “retirement” years to providing free ukuleles to school children in the Portland, Maine area, as well as founded a non profit “Ukeleles Heal the World” to further share the power of music to bring love into our world. We even have a co-partner in the Ukraine and have played and sang through Facebook to bring a little levity to our far away brothers and sisters there. During Covid Lee faithfully led our Mugs ukulele group every Sunday on Zoom and continues to do so every other Sunday to this day. He is also currently undergoing radiation treatment for cancer, yet hasn’t missed a beat (pun intended).
And so, on those nights when I would wake up in the middle of the night, I had been on a quest to find that blue Margaritaville bike for Lee. And I actually found it a few weeks ago!! Next I enlisted all the other Mugs to join in this love gift with the plan to donate any extra not needed for the bike, if any, to Lee’s non profit. A pretty simple plan with a very small beginning. . .
Oh my goodness, how this incredibly little act of kindness has impacted so many people! The community aspect of this gift of love turned it into something I never could have imagined. All of the Mugs came on the journey with me as I shared texts and photos of the assembly of the bike (thank you, Sid), the transportation and delivery of it in our RV, the sneaking it into Lee’s building with him having no idea of what was being delivered until Sid and I were gone, the absolute awe which overwhelmed Lee, the individual responses of the 20 Mugs sharing stories of times together, reminiscing about Lee’s amazing attributes. . . Even those who had not participated recently in our ukulele Zoom sessions jumped in to be part of this love adventure. We all got to know each other in ways never imaginable, especially since many of us have only known each other through the Zoom get-togethers.
In one sense this adventure is just another example of the ripple effect of our kindness to others, no matter how small, and the unanticipated results that flow from such acts. Yet perhaps even moreso in these times, we are all starved for a little more adventure, a little more fun, a little more communication of our love for others, a lot more connection through community with others.
Lee continues to send all of us videos of him riding his bike through the streets of Portland, photos of each part of the bike as he admires it, even bike songs he has written and ones about bikes that we will be playing this Sunday in our Mugs Zoom ukulele get together.
Love more. Live more. We are His Hands on earth to bring His Divine love to this world. It’s needed now more than ever. And ironically, the more you give, the more you will receive in feeling Yeshua’s love for you. His blessings are impossible to anticipate, to comprehend, the mystery being perhaps the greatest gift of all.