Friday, March 05, 2010

An ordinary day

Some of my colleagues make a name for themselves in the community or in wider circles. One just had a curriculum published and placed on the reading list of one of the Episcopal seminaries. I am delighted for her. It's well-deserved recognition for hard work. Another colleague is known for making acquaintances all over town.

While I have some recognition within our Province and in the national Church for experience related to General Convention, that is not the work that is life-giving. I don't know a better way to say this, but I just want to be ordinary, do my job, and do it well. I'd like to make a difference, one person at a time. I'd rather be someone who's in the building, who's available and present when life presents situations that people can't deal with.

Such a thing happened yesterday; I had my coat on and was ready to walk out to a scheduled appointment. A couple passing by on our block walked into the church, the woman in extreme distress. Her 21-yr-old child is dying in the hospital nearby, and it's literally more than her body can stand. At one point I had to prop her up. The time with them, probably 30 minutes, was very intense and difficult. I cannot change what is to come for them. But I was the one present, while others were away. It's terribly hard work, and today I ache for them. This is what I signed up for: meeting people who at times have no where else to turn.

This is the work that means more to me than being out meeting people in the wider community. I am okay with being less visible -- and simply doing the best I can moment to moment, in the context of an ordinary day.


Blogger Jane Ellen+ said...

"In all that you do, you are to nourish Christ's people from the riches of his grace, and strengthen them to glorify God in this life and in the life to come."

Yep. That's what matters. Well done, sister priest.

7:33 PM  
Blogger Heidi said...

Thanks for this, Raisin. Very powerful.

6:12 AM  
Blogger Castanea_d said...

Esteemed Raisin,

In this, you remind me of Fr. S. He sometimes expressed (and always lived) the same ideas about just being "there," being an ordinary priest at the church, available.

The other things you mentioned are important, and I suppose someone has to take those roles in the community and beyond. But this ordinary work is at least equal in importance.

7:07 AM  

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