For the third day of this writing thing I posted a movie review of Finding Dory. So today is the fourth, and on the fourth day God created day and night, the sun moon and stars, and seasons. Today this has me thinking about the seasons of life. I visited with a family who has a funeral tomorrow at church the other day, and in the midst of hearing about this beloved family member who had died, we watched babies play on the floor. Yesterday in the office we worked on that same funeral service as well as a wedding. And this morning I had breakfast with a colleague and I talked about the ways that tweens and teens deal with grief. The kids I am meeting in my new context are still struggling with their previous pastors leaving, grieving those departures and unclear about why they happened and how to move forward.
It is actually a big part of the work I do as an interim pastor- one who comes in after someone who was in the church much longer than I will be has just left. I listen to grief, confusion, sadness and pain. I sometimes give voice to it when others are grieving and don't yet see that that is what is going on for them, they just know its hard or they are angry. Sometimes I even receive that anger when it is misplaced and becomes about anger at something I have done or said, when actually it is hurt and grief about change. It is sometimes painful for me, it is sometimes exhausting to hear and help carry those emotions for a little while. But just as being with a family when someone has died feels like a holy moment, so too does this in-between pastoring thing I am blessed to do. I spend my time hearing about people's pain and upset at the church, but in those words I also hear about why they love God, why their church is important in their lives, how they have served God in the church and in their lives, and it is a great blessing and privilege to hear where they have met God in their lives.
Just as God created the cycle of time and seasons of life on the fourth day, I find myself appreciating the cycles of time and life today. I love participating in this moment in the life of this church, I am excited and grateful for the new life one of my best friends will bring into the world in the next days, I am enjoying figuring out what is next in the adventure of my own personal life, and grateful for the presence of my loved ones of all ages in my life today. Where are the blessings of this season for you?