par-for-the-pastor-course

some days do not turn out how we expect them.
i expected to spend some time reading and working on my sermon. perhaps doing some cleaning (office and house).
but not answering phone calls connected to death.
i suppose i knew that days like this happen when you join the profession that sits and prays with the grieving.
but i never expect them.
cause you can never expect when your phone rings with less-than-thrilling news.

the first call was more of puzzle-solving than anything.
someone died in a far-off country and belonged to a church that closed a few years ago.
so no one is sure exactly who will be doing what and where and when…
but i said that i would like being involved if possible.

but the other call was more par-for-the-pastor-course.
this was the first time i got a call from the local hospital to come and be there for a family whose loved one was not expected to survive.
i’m not sure that i will ever get over the fear that i’m intruding into their personal pain, but i knew that it was where i was supposed to be.
if not only for the grieving but for the others awaiting slightly better news…

and i wrapped up the day with a theological discussion with two other pastors and three community members who were trained to preach and lead worship.
fantastic talk inspired by marcus borg’s writing.
we chatted about holy week, our perceptions about God when we were young, and the role and power of prayer.
but when we ended our time with prayer, i found that i couldn’t say anything.
so i let others pray.

people can surprise you.
life can surprise you.
but so can cars.
as i was driving off into the rain, i noticed that my wiper blade looked as though the rubber was sliding.
so i stopped my car to look.
and it fell apart.
literally.
all of a sudden i was holding five pieces of plastic, metal and rubber that used to comprise the wiper blade that i needed.
and so i had to go and buy a new one after notifying the people expecting me to arrive at a certain time that i would not be there when expected.

God must have thought that i was not leading an interesting enough life…

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