Skip to main content

welcome to ministry

this week has been one of those "welcome to ministry" weeks.  it seems as if there are certain events/times/whatever that one "truly" gets introduced into ministry--sometimes they are wonderful and beautiful like when i was honored to baptize a little guy on Easter morning.  more often it/they are the moments that sear with pain and confusion or insane business.

yesterday was a very emotional day.  this week has been a heavy one. 

a wonderful and beautiful man passed away on Sunday, we'd been waiting for him to let go for some time.  he was also a man of devout and inspiring faith so while it was sad to lose it, it wasn't a horrible shock to the system.  he had a long and good life filled with faith and love.  i hope to die like that too.  his wife has been amazing and strong--she is an inspiration.  her faith is immense and beautiful to see.

this week begun with a mix of sorrow and inspiration.  then my grandfather had a stroke.  my grandfather who chewed on Swisher Sweets because my grandma didn't like the smell and the smoke.  i can still see his big smile as he teased me and my friends with one of his cigars in hand.  he was a tall man so his knees and legs were crunched up in his hospital bed.

for many years of my life i saw and hugged him every day.  i'm sorry my kids won't have that with their grandparents.  but for the past 23 years i've hardly seen him at all.  my kids have met him all of two times that they can remember, one of which was just a day ago.  i  was scared to go see him because it had been so long, probably 6 years or so.  but his smile was enormous and his eyes shown with love.

a woman who i love and adore, whose mother just passed away a few weeks ago, is probably soon to meet her mom.  her battle (for she has most certainly battled) with cancer is coming to an end.

the good news has been that i have the honor of baptizing a gorgeous little guy on Sunday.  funeral on Friday, baptism on Sunday.  and now probably a funeral on Monday, and another will be quick to follow.

my grandfather died in his sleep this morning.  yesterday he was facing the decision as to whether or not he would have feeding tubes placed in his body or to die.  it's really quite wonderful that he was able to pass quietly in his sleep (though i do have questions about how quiet that might really be) and he did not have to suffer and starve to death--which is truly an awful way to go.

so this is my week, yet another intro to ministry moment(s).

peace be with you Grandpa, i love you and am thankful i got to see you and see that smile of yours once again.  i love you.

Comments

revkjarla said…
love and prayers for you as you celebrate the life of your grandfather,
and more prayers for all those moments of ministry that keep us going, that challenge us, that drain us, and give us life.
More love with those prayers, too.

Popular posts from this blog

Sermon on Luke 24: 44-56

This morning I have the honor of preaching at my Mentor's church while she take a well earned break.  I'd be lying if I wasn't nervous. Thankfully, I live with an amazing editor so that helps.

I'm using the first story from Peter Rollin's The Ortodox Heretic and Other Impossible Tales as an illustration. It didn't seem right to type it into my sermon. The stripped down version is that a man is put on trial for being a Christian. He has all the Christian trappings: regularly attends church, prays, reads scriptures and inspirational devotions, he even writes his own! Yet, he is free to go because there is no evidence that he is living as Christ and the Disciples did, he poses no threat to the status quo. I highly recommend the book. It's filled with wonderful and challenging tales, Rollins' uses the book to state that the scriptures and all our religiosity have no meaning unless we put those words and beliefs into action.

Update:  I left the book at home!!…

Cancer blues

Most days I feel really positive and good.  Today is not one of those days. Today is one of those days in which I've been thinking about having my lymph nodes removed and the risk of lymphodema in my legs. Dr. Gyn/Onc seemed more worried about this side effect than the actual cancer.  I don't want to go there but sometimes those images of log tree legs, remembering the pain from the swelling in my legs when I was pregnant, and imagining the drains being stuck in my body for a week or more, well it makes my skin crawl.

I know there will be good days and bad days. I try to keep the bad days from my family and friends. I know they are stressed too.

I feel like we are one of those families in which something is always going on and people start to pull away wondering WTF is wrong with them!

I'm used to being the care taker, not the one receiving care.

I have to find a new normal and that won't happen until after the surgery.  So I need an interim normal for the time being.

Cancer and unicorns

I wish I could remember where I found this prayer, it gives me strength and courage. 

Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers,
but to be fearless in facing them.

Let me know beg for the stilling of my pain,
but for the heart to conquer it.

Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved,
but hope for the patience to win my freedom.

Grant me that I may not be a coward,
feeling your mercy in my success alone;
but let me find the grasp of your hand in my failure.

Written by Rabindranath Tagore

It turns out I have actual cancer.  In the tiniest of ways I am concerned but overall I am very positive about kicking some cancer ass. I think it has helped going through the precancerous stuff and emotions. I now know that I can get through the surgery. I know what I face and that I am surrounded by people who love and care for me and will help me through this.

A few months ago I had a "unicorn party" for my staff because things had been rough in the office and most folks had persona…