Is it possible to have hopeful and heart heavy moments at the same time?
I'd say yes.
I had a wonderful visit with and older couple from the congregation today. Firstly, I had to circle Robesonia in the road atlas for them, so they know where I'll be. We had a lovely chat, I got to see some of the antiques that the wife has collected..."I'm running out of space," she said. "Well, after you've been married 61 years, you accumulate some stuff," he replied. (True story)
I got to dance with him at their 60th wedding anniversary...he's quite the dancer.
He was born in that house, in the living room where we chatted. He's lived there all his life and while he still works on the family farm (he'll be 90 next year) his son is now his boss. :)
Over homemade carrot cake, and little glasses of Oliver Blackberry Wine we talked about everything from religion to politics and all sorts of things in between. I saw where the old wood burning oven used to sit in the kitchen, out the back window you can still see the one room school house he walked to as a boy. If the walls could talk, I do not think they would have much to add to all that I heard today. As we sat at the kitchen table, he said we've been kind rough to you the past few years. I said, well, we've been through ups and downs together...and I've learned alot. To which he replied, "I admire you." And at that point I didn't feel worthy enough to sit at their table. A man, with 89 years of life experience...a life on a farm, no less....one of 7 children, then raising his own children in that house, too. How blessed am I to share in these amazing moments with people? This is the man who people worried about when it came to calling a female pastor. (Whether he, the man who was born the year the church was built would be okay with a woman in the pulpit.)
He admires me? (speechless)
Things I will always remember about him:
He'd sing Holy, Holy, Holy every Sunday if he could.
He used to ring the bell every Sunday before worship. If he wasn't going to be at church he would find a replacement and he would call me to let me know he wouldn't be there.
How the week after the congregation took the vote to leave the ELCA (that failed) he said, well, where did the other people go? If the vote had gone the other way, I'd still be here...
The same pew he and his wife sat/sit in week after week after week.
What a wonderful afternoon...I wonder if they will ever know the impact they had on my life, my ministry and my faith...
The evening allowed for an amazing dinner with a dear friend and colleague. She celebrated my joy with me and we cherished the time we have had together...thanks Nan :)
Until next time . . .