My friend and mentor and church musician and minister of education and youth is leaving. She's moving to Hawaii with her daughter who has been called to serve a church there. I've known for a few months now, but the day is getting closer and closer. Sunday we will celebrate her ministry with our congregation and 10 days later she'll get on the Big Bird to fly across the Pacific. I'm happy for them, but not so happy for me.
We've known each other for about 11 years now. We were separated for 4 years by half a country while I was in seminary. We stayed in touch through email and saw each other at General Assembly. When I was called to the church where she already served it was such a comfort to know I wouldn't be all alone in a strange place. And now she's going away.
One day last week, as I was busy feeling sorry for myself, I realized that what had actually happened was that she had been sent out as the disciples were sent out. Her daughter was called to Hawaii and she wasn't, but just as Jesus sent his followers out in pairs to preach the good news, heal the sick and cast out demons, these two are going out together to do ministry. I don't know what the ministry will be for the two of them together, but I do know that where those two are, ministry is guaranteed to happen.
Knowing that helps. I'll still miss her. I'll miss our Monday morning phone conferences about everything. But we will still have email and Assemblies and her twice a year trips home to visit her doctor and her grandchildren. And ministry of a new kind will be done in Hawaii in Christ's name. How can I complain about that?