Monday, July 28, 2008

On the 2nd day she rested

What a week it was! I realize that today (Monday) is technically the 2nd day of the week, but the last 8 days have been so emotionally up and down, draining and exhilarating, that I feel as if I am resting even though I'm in the church office right now and have lots to do. But at least the stuff I have to do is regular church stuff . . .

Last Sunday we had Children! in church, and it was wonderful. The not so wonderful part is that on Tuesday the father of several of those children called to ask me a favor. He told me they had lost a child 10 days earlier. He was 4 months premature and lived on machines for just 2 days. The funeral was to be Thursday morning. He had just learned that the person scheduled to do the service had cancelled. Would I? Of course I would (while mentally disemboweling the person who cancelled! Who cancels on a baby's funeral????) We planned to meet on Wednesday to talk about the service. Wednesday evening the wife called from the emergency room - her husband and 3 sons all had food poisoning. Could they meet me after they were released? When the husband called later, I told him to go home and rest - everything would work out. I had spoken with the funeral director, knew where to go, and knew that only a graveside service was planned. As Disciples don't have anything like a Book of Common Prayer, I was busy thanking God for the Chalice Worship and the resources in it.

The morning of the funeral was a beautiful, sunny Southern California day with minimal smog as I drove through LA on my way to the cemetery. Everything went pretty well up to the end of the graveside service. Then . . . the hole was too small and had to be re-dug. The chains around the tiny casket and vault got stuck and had to be yanked out of the grave. When the front-end loader showed up to dump dirt into the grave, I walked away to be near the parents, who had walked away some few minutes earlier. How hard it is to be comforting to the family when what you really want to do is snatch up the funeral director and shake her until her teeth rattle!

Friday was entirely different. I was blessed by the opportunity to perform my first same-sex wedding. Two women who had been living together faithfully for 25 years were finally being joined together in the eyes of the state. I believe God had been blessing their relationship for a long time. There were some challenges with the wording of the service, and the standard Certificate of Christian Marriage I had in my desk had to be completely re-designed. Rainbow Pastor of Revgalblogpals was a great help there.

Then came Sunday. A wonderful celebration as my congregation burned our paid-off mortgage, preaching by our Regional Minister, a pot luck dinner that couldn't be beat, and LOTS of children! In the evening I had a speaking opportunity at a 12 step meeting.

Not surprising that I feel whupped. And blessed. I am blessed by the opportunity to be there for a family in pain, and by the opportunity to bless the union of 2 faithful Christian women. I am blessed by the words I heard preached, by the love of my congregation, and especially, by the work I have been called to do by a loving God. Where else could I get so many opportunities to share my love of God and my faith in the healing power of God's Word with others?

So today I "rest." And plan worship for Saturday and Sunday, and return a bunch of phone calls and and and . . wait to see what God will bring me this week.

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