September 1, 2010

a gallon of gas, a blow torch, and saltiness

Monday's post at draughting theology was #900. I had great plans to make it a "day in the life" post, but life got in the way and I forgot. So 900 and 901 have been posted, and now it is 5pm on Wednesday and 902 is still not written, but I think the "day in the life" gimmick is ready today.

But first. Before you read a re-cap of the last 36 hours of my life, consider adding two verses to Sunday's Gospel lesson. For some reason the RCL folks decided to skip out on verses 34 and 35 - the last two verses of chapter 14. "Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

How does salt regain its saltiness? Only by the miracle of God's intervention.

Tuesday, 8:00am - arrived at the office ready for my weekly Lectionary Study and proceeded to spend 30 minutes listening as one of our group told us of his impending move to a new call.

8:30am - prayed and dove into a tough lesson from Luke 14. Decided that verses 34 and 35 were required reading.

9:30am - moved to the parish hall to help our Junior Warden replace a faucet, supply lines, and shut-off valves in the kitchen. The water, having been shut off for 12 hours, was still draining at a pretty rapid clip. Something was not right.

9:45am - found B knocking at the kitchen door. He'd been kicked out of his aunts house 30 miles away. He hitched a ride with a Sheriff's Deputy, had only the clothes on his back, an expired Driver's License, half a pack of smokes, and a work card for Thursday and Friday at Labor Ready. Oh, and he hadn't eaten in two days. Gave him some food meant for the local pantry and found him a place to shower, rest and regroup, and rest his head for the night.

10:30am - arrived back at the parish hall with sawzall, channel locks, plumber's putty, only to find the water still draining. JW leaves to buy new faucet while I cut old shut off valves off. Finally find second outside valve, get water stopped and begin to sweat on new valves.

11:45am - test new valves - leaking. Sprayed water all over the storage room for good measure. I leave to eat while JW cleans mess and installs new faucet.

12:30pm - re-sweat valves two more times, and finally get it right (we are not experts) get everything hooked up and cleaned up. Thank JW for his service and head to the office.

2:00pm - sit down at desk to write sermon for Wednesday Service on the Rev. David Pendleton Oakerhater.

2:30pm - find 2 women with 4 kids under 4 knocking on the side door. They've run out of gas. TKT has a gas tank at home. They play in nursery for a few minutes. Get the car started. Follow them to BP to fill up, wish them safety and God's blessing and return to desk for sermon writing.

3:00pm - receive phone call from the mom of a 4th grader who is struggling with the car accident death of a 12th grader (cousinish) who had taken the time to actually get to know her.

3:45pm - go to meet the 4th grader and try to fumble through questions like, "why her?" "Why so young?" "Did God make her suffer?" "Why does going to Church hurt people?" (Did I not mention that 4th grader was in church on Sunday for the first time in years and they left the house at 9:45am on Sunday not knowing the accident was happening as they drove to Church?)

5:00pm - arrive home exhausted. Do my best to put it all aside, hand it all to Jesus and enjoy the joys of my family. Watched Nadal really struggle through two sets while I looked at my calender to make sure I'm ready to go on vacation on Friday.

10:00pm - go to bed.

Wednesday, 5:55am - alarm clock rings.

7:30am - hit the road for Baptist Hospital in Pensacola to visit B2 who is looking at a long stay and no food or liquid by mouth for 2-6 weeks. Encourage. Encourage. Encourage. Pray.

10:00am - arrive at the office to put together Parish Emails and Sunday bulletin, and prep for sermon at noon. Find out TKT helped B get a place to stay for 7 days. Grateful for team ministry.

11:57am - While sitting in my chair in the Sanctuary W shows up (his fifth appearance in two weeks) and convinces a parishioner to get me so he can ask for $68 to get his driver's license back. "Secretary says you helped a guy get a place to stay for the week." Ugh. He leaves disappointed.

12:03pm - call on the Spirit to carry me through a poorly prepared sermon and a service that weighs heavy due to the previous 6 minutes.

12:27pm - find strength in the words of Eucharistic Prayer A.

12:36pm - find hope in the oil left on my thumb after laying on of hands after communion.

1:00pm - arrive home for lunch.

1:45pm - leave for the 12th graders funeral. A mob scene. Foley High School has 1700+ students and the largest funeral home holds less than 200. You can do the math. Make eye contact with the 4th grader, she is glad I'm there. Stand in the lobby, lift up prayers, and watch people. It is kind of what I do.

3:00pm - arrive at the office. Finish E-pistle, two bulletins, and juggling for daddy duty tomorrow.

4:30pm - pack up to leave.

4:31pm - remember tonight is youth group.

4:32pm - head the the chapel to prep for youth group.

5:00pm - begin writing this blog post

5:26pm - finish writing this blog post after many checks of my phone for the ongoing Tastycake conversation on my wall.

How does salt remain salty? How does it regain its saltiness? When does Pastoral Ministry Work become vocation? Only by the radical intervention of God. All thanks and praise to him for the saltiness to survive a wild 36 hours. And thanks to you, dear reader for giving me reason to write 902 posts.

1 comment:

Jim Trimble+ said...

Thank you for this. A pastor's job is never done, or rarely defined. Except your neighbor.