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Archive for June, 2021

I’ve found myself feeling irritated lately. I don’t usually get irritated and when I do, it’s usually blown over easily. Yet for some reason, lately there seems to be a “pandemic of stupid” if you will.

The decision to re-open our buildings, timing, etc. is delicate. And the Parish sent out a questionnaire to find out what people are feeling as far as re-opening. Tomorrow I have a meeting where a final decision will be made by our Joint Church Committee. We will be looking at the feedback from the questionnaire as the decisions are made.

Lately some people have been telling me that what we’re doing, no, sorry, what I’M doing is wrong. That I’m going about this whole thing the wrong way. I was raised to be respectful, especially of my elders, and so I usually listen carefully, I acknowledge that I’m listening and then I try and find a way to further engage the dialogue.

But you know what? There’s no cure for stupid. Ignorance can be lifted through education, but there ain’t no cure for stupid.

The “armchair quarterbacks” are minimal, but they are out in force. Their voice, they believe, is the most important voice. And I know that there is no way I will make everyone happy. I know that. Yet I despair that someone may feel their voice is not heard.

My grandson needed emergency surgery a week and a bit ago. His appendix became inflamed and he was rushed into surgery. He was recovering well, then, over the weekend he started feeling worse. He was taken back to hospital and after a six hour wait in which he was told he was not a priority, his Dad took him to a hospital in another city who’s emergency room had very little wait.

He’s now awaiting emergency surgery because there is an infection by his spinal column that needs to be removed. I ran into a person in the community who asked me why I was so “down in the mouth” and I told her I was worried for my grandson. She dismissed my worry which was aggravating, THEN she questioned the strength of my faith because, and I quote, if I truly “had faith, I would not need to worry, I simply need to give it over to God.” When she said this I saw red.

“I have great faith in God, and I also have great faith in the surgeons and medical team caring for my grandson.” Yet I can and will still worry. Anaesthetic is a big deal. A young man in excruciating pain is a very big deal. She looked at me blankly and I turned and walked away. In my heart I know he will be okay. The surgery will be a success because he is a strong young man. I have faith in the surgeons to do their job well. And the rest of the medical team; techs, nurses, etc., will ensure he recovers well. BUT I CAN AND WILL STILL WORRY.

Words matter. Some people suck. And now I’m going to get some ice cream and go to bed early.

I would greatly appreciate prayers, good vibes, healing energy for my grandson and his medical team. Please and thank you.

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Since the start of the pandemic, most mornings I drive to a local chain-store coffee shop for their steeped tea. Sometimes I order a breakfast sandwich or a donut, most days it’s just the tea. Over the past 16 months or so I’ve developed a friendship with the staff who work the early shift, in particular a young man called “G”. His nametag is one letter…”G”.

He is tall, slim, dark haired, olive skinned, wearing a turban and sporting a beard. He is Sikh and is originally from the Punjab in India. He came to the town where I am after finishing school in the next city over. He loves it here, with the four seasons and wide open spaces. The first time he saw in me uniform, wearing a clerical collar he was surprised, but didn’t say anything.

As we were approaching Holy Week he noticed I was in uniform every day. One day he asked me what it was I did for work. I told him I’m a priest and a minister. He stopped, smiled and slowly asked how it was possible for me to be those things, as I’m female. And so we began sharing little pieces of our stories with each other.

He wished me Happy Easter on Good Friday because he knew a holy day was coming up soon.

I asked him where he attends Temple as our town is too small for a sikh temple. He goes to Calgary, which is 3+ hours away, but only gets there a couple of times a year.

We have talked about God. We have talked about faith. We have talked about prayer.

Most mornings now, when I hear him on the loudspeaker I greet him by name, to which he responds with my name and asks if I’m having “my usual”. He is someone I look forward to seeing as his bright smile and peaceful disposition brighten my day. We almost always discuss the weather.

He has started asking about my congregation and when we can open the Churches again. I told him we were having an outdoor service and he asked if I could let him know how it went…so the day of the Outdoor service, I stopped before Worship for my tea, then after worship I stopped by again for another celebratory tea and he was thrilled when I told him it went well.

I thanked him for organising the good weather and he smiled broadly, bowed and said “you are most welcome…any time at all”, and we laughed.

The other morning I was feeling rather haggard. I’m sure I looked rather haggard and “G” asked me, with concern on his face, if everything was okay. I told him I was feeling overwhelmed but with a good cup of tea and an afternoon nap I should be okay.

As I was about to drive away he said “May God bless you this day” and I thanked him profusely.

This morning he said I was looking better, more rested, and I thanked him for his concern. I told him how much I appreciate seeing his smiling face and seeing him brightens my day. He said he looks forward to hearing my voice in the speaker and on the days I don’t get there he gets somewhat concerned. But he knows my job is ever-changing and perhaps I am taking a day off to be away.

I thanked him for his concern and told him that his blessing meant a lot to me. He told me he prays for me most every day. I told him I do the same. We both smiled then he said “I may not call my God the same as you call your God, but at the end of the day, there is only one God to whom we both pray.

In different circumstances we would have a distrust of the other because we are so obviously different. And yet, because we have taken a couple of minutes a day to say hello and to share some of our story, we now have a better understanding of who the other person is, and that God is central in both of their lives.

To that I can say only one thing: Thanks be to God. Amen.

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