The varieties of my experiences of the past week


Some of the things I’ve experienced in the past week:

*Sitting in the sanctuary for an hour Friday praying for the congregation’s renewal, and discovering the wonderful way the light dances through the windows on the altar as the clouds come and go.

*Gotten lost in writing plot twists and character descriptions for the murder mystery party our church is holding this coming Saturday.  There truly are vast galaxies out there (or in there) in our imaginations just waiting to be explored.

*Sat with a couple of members of my congregation for “one on one conversations” in which I learned compelling pieces of their life stories I hadn’t heard before, even though I’d known them for years.

*A late night jamming session with my friend Joe and a couple of his friends.  Playing drums and harmonica, jamming requires I enter the realm of which Paul Simon wrote in his lyric:  “Did you ever have a moment of grace, when your brain took a seat behind your face?”

*Going with my wife and son to watch two high school state tournament basketball games involving my high school friend George’s son, one in his wealthy suburb, the other in an impoverished inner city.  Both of the games were do or die, filled with high drama and emotion, and both were decided by a single basket.  (I hadn’t seen George for thirty years until I saw him last year at one of his son’s games.  I think our spirits were more recognizable to one another than our bodies, weathered, as they are. Once upon a time George and I were on a j.v. soccer team together as well as an intramural basketball team that we named “The Lastplacers”, anticipating the fact that we would end up losing every one of our games. George was also one of my riding companions on a Saturday afternoon excursion at age 15 in which I fell off my bike 35 miles from home, making a trip to the emergency room for some stitches.  “I can see your bone”, he said, looking at my ripped open forearm.

*Made a rare trip to a movie theater with my wife and son to see “Amazing Grace”, the new movie about William Wilberforce and the movement that combined faith and politics to abolish the slave trade in Great Britain at the beginning of the 19th century.  It was all I had hoped it would be. Just stunning.

*Coached my son’s basketball team in a game in which they got trounced.

*Bailed water from the basement after a heavy rain, discovering, in the process, a dead bird in the bucket. I was absolutely befuddled as to how it could have gotten there.

*Had dinner at some friends’ house that is over 200 years old. When I mentioned my dead bird mystery, my host suggested a plausible explanation:  the bird was sitting on the chimney trying to stay warm, where it got tipsy from carbon monixide fumes, falling into the chimney, descending all the way to the furnace in the basement, where it took its last breaths getting a drink of water from the bucket. Makes sense to me.

*Celebrated holy communion with all the saints of my church gathered for Sunday worship, which, I must say, is one of the great treats of being a pastor.

There is a fullness to life at times that is simply astonishing.


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