is the grass any bluer...

is the grass any bluer...
on the other side?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Kyrie Eleison (Lord, Have Mercy)

Sundays are usually good days for me. I know I'm going to sing and there will be lovely music.  I am certain to hear a sermon that is not going to tell me I'm going to burn in hell - Michael Mooty's messages are, after all, usually more cerebral than fire-and-brimstone. 

 Today, during the children's moment at the beginning of worship, our minister did something a little unusual.  He brought the boys and girls up the steps and into the chancel - which was a treat for the choir since we never get to see the kids when they have their part of the service - and he pointed to the stained glass that rises behind us.  The stained glass is a collection of images,  contains a number of elements of Christian life, but at the lower right hand corner, there's a depiction of the story of the good Samaritan.

At that point, Dr. Mooty gently told the children how when we see someone is hurting, we should help them, no matter if they are friend or foe, emphasized the parable's message of loving our enemies, that everyone is our neighbor...and of course, he explained how that relates to the poor, the ill, the grieving, the helpless, the defenseless. I have to admit, I kinda felt like my life at present qualified under all those categories.

As he spoke, the kids were all in front of us, looking up at the glass, their eyes full of wonder, full of acceptance, full of innocence.   

Well, that's when the floodgates behind my eyes opened up, and for the rest of the service, I wiped my tears away, hoping each time that I wouldn't need to do that anymore.  However, that didn't happen, the water works wouldn't go away, it was an emotional tidal wave.
I have had a lot on my proverbial plate lately, and needed to cleanse my soul with a good cry, I suppose, but I was ready to let that cup pass from me.

After worship, a friend who is also a minister was consoling me about the death of my brother-in-law, and I blinked back the saltwater, tried to hold myself together, but I didn't. I fell apart. I thanked her, but told her I was embarrassed that I had cried throughout the entire service.  She then said the most wonderful thing.  "Kim, I think that's the best time to cry, in church."  

It was an encouraging word, and not one of pity, but one of mercy...and that was a merciful gift she gave me, a Gift that will never let me go.

I also have received messages from others today who care about me...and for those words, I am eternally grateful as well.  I can't sink into the abyss that the past contains.  It is dark there, and I have to keep tracing the rainbow through the rain. 

Here is a prayer we shared today, I hope you find meaning in it: 
God of justice,
your word is light and truth.
Let your face shine on us to restore us,
that we may walk in your way,
Seeking justice and doing good.

[Here's a clippy-clip of tenor extraordinaire Manuel Castillo when he sang a solo recently. Manuel just returned from a mission to Haiti, only to hop back on a plane to travel to Italy to perform Die Fleidermaus.  Manuel is one of the nicest people I know...and he's also one of the most talented! Enjoy:     kjt ]   

To my friends who called or wrote to see how I'm doing, I thank you. To Ali, who made me feel pretty with her gift of a vintage dress yesterday, it has transformed me, thank you.  To my buddy who cusses like a sailor but calms my angry sea, I appreciate your willingness to swear some sense into me.  

And to my sisters, I cherish you both, so much, please accept my forever gratitude.  
peace, y'all,

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