Tuesday, April 15, 2008

On Being a Pastor

Last night I had an appointment for a marriage counselling session ... but the couple never arrived.

So I dropped in on the meeting of the Women’s Auxiliary.
It is a pastoral thing: go to see the ladies once in a while, keep them happy, and they will not complain too much when I do or say things they might not find comfortable – like the stuff we do with street people, or my support for gay and lesbian people.

So I dropped in and discovered my friend Peter showing pictures of his epic motorcycle trips: one across America on Route 66, and his adventure from Cape Town to Lusaka on an old BMW, and his recent trip from Holland to Czechoslovakia. And I thoroughly enjoyed Peter’s narrative – which can only be described as eclectic. He showed photographs of small town gaols alongside diners and pubs. He juxtaposed WW Two Concentration camps with cheerful beer full bikers’ gatherings. And I realised that this is really the nature of life: an unplanned adventure, where we try our best to survive each day without falling off, and we attempt to grasp a moment of happiness amidst the struggle to keep going.

Like Audrey Bell. Who came to the meeting tonight to say farewell to her friends. She has been attending this monthly meeting for more than forty years. These are the women who accompanied her through the years of child-rearing. These are the women who got her through the unexpected death of her husband. And these are the friends who filled the loneliness of the years since then. But now she is old, and can no longer live on her own. So she has sold her home...as has her older brother, and a cousin. And they are moving together to a gated complex further than is possible for her to drive herself to this church.

She explained it all to me like this: “I never wanted to go to an old age home. But now we have created our own” And she chuckled. And we drank tea together. And I kissed her goodbye.


bugs said...

makes me think ...
(and we all know that does not happen often)

digitaldion (Dion Forster) said...

As I've said many times, you're a fantastic pastor. Perhaps that's why I have relied on you so often...

Bless you my friend!