Thursday, June 23, 2011

Salt and laughter

Today I give thanks for two dear people. The first is J., a colleague in several ministry settings. J is recovering from a heart attack; we nearly lost him. One of the hardest parts of his new lifestyle has been giving up salt, as much as that's possible. It's challenging when most of our foods contain ridiculous amounts of salt. In solidarity with J., I'm giving up salt, too, not only to become more healthy, but to think of and pray for him every time I make a better dietary choice.

The second person I name is Ruth, my mother-in-law, who would have been 100 years old on this day. I give thanks to her in so many ways, but especially for her gift of laughter. I can still see her reacting to one of the many corny Horn jokes, the laughter coming straight from her toes (which we never saw; she was properly dressed at all times in a skirt, stockings, and tie shoes).

Cheers to J. in his recovery, and thanks to Ruth for her music, her laughter, and her six children -- especially that youngest one. :)

Monday, June 06, 2011

The Chalice and the Fly

It finally happened.

I started the Eucharistic Prayer yesterday, and noticed a slight movement over the altar. There it was: a fly. I've not seen one in the chancel in the four years I've served at this parish. It's one thing to have an outdoor Eucharist, where flies and bees and ants like to see what's for lunch. And because I was trained to perform a minimum of "manual acts" and to celebrate with simplicity and reverence, I don't normally cover and uncover the chalice with the pall multiple times. I'm wary of creating distraction, so I've joked with our deacons that if I see a fly, I'll cover the chalice right quick.

So there they were: the chalice and the fly. I covered and uncovered and then covered that chalice, all the movement feeling at odds with the way I prefer to minimize it. I recall that when our bishop visited, he, too left the chalice uncovered, saying with a grin, "If a fly appears, I'll cover the wine." I admit it: I was never so glad to have that pall nearby; the fly gave up, and did not dive in for a happy, drunken end. And I learned that it's a good thing to keep alert!