Tuesday, 10 January 2017

How many ropes can a cleric swing from . . . t

i. . . in a day without falling off? This was a question posed to me by someone today.

They said I was like Tarzan swinging from tree to tree - they didn't mention whether they thought I was doing the yelling bit, but I hope that in their minds eye I was! "Don't you ever stand still?" they asked. I merely smiled and reminded them that drinking tea whilst on the move was hazardous and swung on.

Today went like this: admin, pastoral, meeting, pastoral, pastoral, ring hospital to check on member, book home visits, lunch @  Church 'drop in', funeral visit, FDs, pastoral, Kid's Club, Communion service (baptism of Christ), DCC meeting. Loads of ropes and in between them plenty of telephone calls and texts. I've never thought of checking before but there were 26 mobile calls and 32 texts. I didn't manage to be behind the desk much today so only managed four calls on the landline - non 'spam' emails numbered 38.

I'm trying to cut down on electronic communication and will, where possible, try to engage by telephone or in person. It isn't any less efficient and the opportunity for people misreading the content or the tone is remember, they merely have to cope with me; which is probably equally confusing :-).

I realised today how much the ABEND (abnormal end) that is death - that system crash where life encounters a zero and comes to an end - affects people. There are the people who examine the code and seek answers, there are those who tear their hair out and get in a bit of a tizzy, others still who stop to reflect on the event and the impact it brings, and those who merely put the hat and coat on and withdraw from it all.

Funerals firmly in the four digit realm I always expect to encounter the unexpected and am rarely disappointed. From just me and the deceased in the crem, the 'walk through', the deceased waiting outside in the hearse whilst we do the service and the secret cremation before the funeral - and more besides - the options are many and the realities expand to keep you guessing.

But funerals are the bested bit of my life - they bring pastoral opportunities and the chance to debug and restore the lives of the bereaved such that they continue stronger and calmer through, and from, it all.

The pastoral, especially the home Communion, is another joy - Church and belonging made real for me and the person/s before me. Add to this the chance to visit in hospital and take the light of Christ into that place and the cake just bets bigger and tastier. The opportunity to be one who 'comes alongside' (parakletos - it's what the Holy Spirit does with us) is the opportunity to bless ourselves, and I hope the people we are engaging with, it's not work at all is it this ministry life - just time spent generally partying.

So Lord, for all the engagements today, may they have shown your love and compassion. For those who I know with needs, may they have been met and situations salved just a little more. Thank you for the lessons I learned yesterday - may I put them into practice today.

I thank you for Jesus, the Christ, the word made flesh and as we celebrate His baptism I thank you for mine - keep me faithful to my baptismal calling - keep me rejoicing in the salvation I have been given through the life, death, and resurrection of this God made man.

And for the person who asked me to do this: comm: 49 and hrs:15 (just realised it's a day off tomorrow - so should stay static).

1 comment:

UKViewer said...

Sorry, but this gave me a picture of a Vicar with a hairy chest and dog collar swinging from rafter to rafter in the church - I will be thinking of that at MP tomorrow. I wonder if our nimble curate will try it out?