Interrupted by Grace

Little Mary lamented in her recent post that she made someone cry during a meeting. I had a meeting like that this week -- except that I was the one that felt like crying. The meeting was focused on the area of ministry that I like least. I hate that the "young and hip" minister is the one that gets youth ministry and it is assumed that she will be good at it. So, I felt like crying as I was told what I should be doing according to my job description (a document that mysteriously does not actually exist). This meeting confirms my hatred for meetings. It is the worst part about ministry. There must be clergy that have a wonderful gift for these meetings -- but I detest them.

Instead, I would like to share with you why I am a minister. I had two of these moments today -- one right after the other as if the Holy Spirit herself were breathing little sparks to ignite my heart again. I love that she knows just when I need her. After running particularly late this morning (which happens after bad evening meetings for me), I went to visit with Gertrude in her condo without a view. This was the first thing that she showed me. Now that the trees are out, she can no longer see the bay. She complained that they were particularly big and green this year and then laughed at herself. I love it, especially because Gertrude is slowly going blind.

I had met Gertrude at the 90th birthday party a few weeks ago -- an annual luncheon that honors our oldest members on their collective birthdays. We talked about art. And this is what had brought me to her home this day. Not only because I wanted to get to know her better, but because I was interested in seeing her art. She shared her watercolors and acrylics with me. We relished in the wonder of creativity and the bonds that it offers to other creative types. You see, this was my major in college and I'm still wondering about how to connect my passion with the church (or if it should remain something sacred for me). We talked about how hard it is to be lonely and the struggle to maintain indepedence. And then Gertrude and I started to talk about her loss of sight and how hard it is to be creative. I can't really explain how awesome this moment was. But, wow. This is why I am ministry. I touched the divine in this moment as I shared in her vulnerability and frustration. Wow. It was just awesome.

And then, it happened again. Maryjane wandered into my office. She had been looking for the Senior Minister but it is his day off. Maryjane has a dear friend that is dying -- and it's been understandably difficult for her. I was in the middle of preparing for my sermon for next Sunday. I was reading the gospel lesson and wondering about tears. So, I shared with her my thoughts about the power of having a sacred space upon God's feet to cry. We talked about how there are so few people that we can allow ourselves to be this vulnerable with. And we prayed. We prayed for strength and peace in our own lives and the lives of others.

Oh, it was so freakin' amazing. So, this is why I am in ministry. Now, if only I could find the time and energy to be truly prophetic about marriage equality, abortion rights and speaking truth to power about too many crimes against human rights. But, if I can be interrupted by grace like this everyday, I suppose the time will find me.


Alex said...

Great post. I hate meetings too. Interrupted by grace. Very cool.

Anonymous said...

um, could you please erase my last post? yikes!!! i signed in with the wrong name and will sign in again and post correctly with the right name! and then i will explain later...little mary

will smama said...

Glad you too were able to see the beauty of the trees - the highs and lows of ministry are like none other.