Let's see, what can I tell you about that I did yesterday?
Well, first of all, I had a long meeting about something. And it mostly went very well, until a sensitive matter arose and then it still went well. And then I learned something that, to my shock and horror, made me cry. In a meeting. With other grownups. And, really, it's not about me... (good ministry mantra: It's not about me. It's not about me. It's not about me.) And, if you want to know, I was crying for the godawful brokenness of the situation.
Then, some folks came to the church looking for cash. So we went shopping together, and they got what they needed (for a couple of days, maybe). And... so often, I don't feel particularly gracious in those situations. I fret that I am not reading people right, that I am too judgmental, that I am too prone to give because I feel middle-class-survivor guilt. But this whole interaction was kind of... fun. One of the folks has come before, and sometimes I've helped (correction: the church has helped; I've just been the means), and sometimes I've had to say no. But on this day, the banter was easy between us, I felt that, as paltry as the help we can give is, it is nevertheless genuine help. And I thought, what a privilege. To get to be there, in this situation. To get to be the one to whom all the gratitude is directed (totally undeserved as it is).
Then, I wrote a couple of letters. One: easy. One: hard. Hard one got mailed to a colleague for suggestions.
Then I started my bulletin for Sunday. Didn't get far, because...
Then we had Bible Study. We started, June 1 or thereabouts, at Genesis 1:1. Now we're at Genesis 29. Yesterday we read the heartbreaking, pathos-filled scenes wherein Jacob fools his aged, dim-eyed father Isaac into giving him the blessing. There is Jacob, covered with hot, stinking animal pelts, and Isaac saying over and over, "My son... is that you my son? Come here my son... let me smell you my son..." It's awful, because, of course, Jacob is the wrong son... Isaac think's he's tenderly blessing his first-born-hunter-outdoorsman-field-dressing-a-moose boy, Esau. But it's really the pantywaist kitchen boy Jacob. But he is his son too! It's awful. It's dreadful. It's primally painful, in the way parents and children and aim and shoot and miss completely the right way to love each other.
I get to do this for a living. I get to do this. Have I said recently how very, very grateful I am that this is what I get to do for a living?