Thursday, October 26, 2006


Come, fathers and mothers,
come, sisters and brothers,
come, join us in singing the praises of Zion...

It was a blustery October day, three years ago today, and family and friends came from afar, just as if it were a wedding. College friends, whom I hadn't seen in more than ten years, in some instances, gathered the night before in an Italian restaurant. Things went wrong (the pastor who was supposed to give the charge to the congregation got the time wrong, and showed up an hour late... the interim executive presbyter punted, very well, too). But things went so, so, right... The Madrigal Choir, of which I am an erstwhile member, sang two amazing pieces: "Zion's Walls," a folk song setting by Aaron Copland, and "Many Waters" by John Bell, based on a text from the Song of Songs. I will never forget the thrill of the opening piano riff from "Zion's Walls"... the words, "We'll shout and go 'round," the absolute exuberance and hope and joy of that music.

One thing I didn't know at the time of my ordination was that my then-husband had decided to leave me. In fairness, he didn't even know it. We had been in couples counseling for months, he longing for another relationship, me desperately trying to hang on. Later he told me that when he came forward with the rest of the pastors and elders to lay hands on me, a spontaneous prayer had arisen in his heart: "Take care of her." That was when he knew it was over.

It still stands as one of the happiest days of my life.

Many waters cannot quench love,
Neither can the floods drown it...


steve westby said...

Happy Ordiversary! ("Orinanniversary" is just too long a word!)

I'm glad that the memory gives you happy memories. I had such mixed reactions to hearing your description of your ex-husband. Honestly, probably a bit angry at him. Saddened at the pain you both seemed to have been going through.

And yet...impressed at your resilience, at your ability to go through something like that with your hope and humanity intact.

Magdalene6127 said...

Thanks Steve, I have a lot of peace about the whole thing now. And I'll say it again: it was still one of the happiest days of my life.

I realized very shortly after my husband moved out that I did not want the story of my life to be that he left me and I never got over it. I knew then as I know now, that God has a better plan than that. And it has proven true.



jill said...

Wow! Fresh voice! I followed to your blog from the Friday Five, and must say I am just thrilled to have you as a part of the ring. I just read all your posts, but this is the one that grabbed me. Thanks for writing, and keep at it!

Peace, Sister!