It was an odd week in the Backwater.
Our colds improved but the hacking and blowing kept the LH and me from sleeping well. We are on the mend, thank the Lord.
On the friendship front, the news wasn’t as good. A seminary classmate was diagnosed with cancer again after a 10 year respite. She’ll begin a six part chemotherapy course in a few weeks. My neighbor pastor went to see one of her elderly parishoners at home and found crime scene tape around the woman’s home. The woman was murdered by drifters. Watching my neighbor pastor cope with her own pain while searching for ways to comfort and interpret the violence to her flock made me grateful for the maturity I see in her. She’s a wonderful pastor right now. She’s got the gifts for the work she is called to do. Watching her grow is lovely to me. She’s quite my junior in age and experience so if I sound "sisterly" about her, I am.
Another preacher pal is on a downward spiral (or so I think) of busyness piling on more tasks than she can handle while searching for more. I can hardly bare to listen to her. It is NOT our job to bring in the Kingdom. It is NOT our task to save the world. I’m telling you this because she doesn’t listen. It’s like watching a train wreck. Note to self: pray, think, do. Don’t invent busyness. Move when the Spirit says move. Stay still otherwise.
I finished Sherlock Holmes’ Casebook this week and began Great Expectations. Arthur Conan Doyle is fun to read. Picking up Dickens after many years is a pleasure, too. Great Expectations is a much better book than I remembered. I read it at 12 then later in High School. Re-reading it reminds me of Dickens’ power of description and insights into human behavior.
Read the Christian Century and Presbyterian Outlook as I do each week. Southern Living came so I pondered it while watching Ballykissangel from the BBC. Thank you, Netflix. I can watch the BBC stuff even though BBC America doesn’t reach this far South. Ballykissangel is better than Father Ted but neither are as engaging as The Vicar of Dibley. I think I’ve seen all of the Vicar series. We’ve got more seasons of Ballykissangel to see. Father Ted was funny for the first few shows then got on my nerves. Not respectful enough of the work of a priest for my tastes although the cast of characters had some funny spots.
If you see this month’s GQ look for the male model wearing a yellow wide stretch head band and a large red flower pinned to his lapel. We hooted at him. Don’t know why we get GQ as sartorial elegance passed this family by. I suppose the subscription was under ten dollars when I ordered magazines for the LD’s school fund-raiser.
I did about four loads of laundry each day. Cooked meals, ate out three times, got a new collar to clothe Andy in his nakedness, watched West Wing and straightened the house repeatedly.
I worked on my sermon on John 4:5-42 looking at the text with as fresh eyes as I could muster. I preach the lectionary most weeks. Well, all the time. At first, dealing with texts assigned disciplined me to pay attention to portions of the Bible I might have ignored and got me off the habit of preaching my favorite texts. I’ve learned more Bible preaching the lectionary and reading the daily readings over the past 6-8 years. However, I have preached through the cycle at least twice now and this year, I feel less excited about the return of some texts. Like the Woman at the Well. Great text but I am recalling how I deal with it the last time and the time before that. Lord, make your Word fresh to me. It’s February, not the best month. Amen.
It’s the humdrum of the weather (rainy and gray, then bright blue and chillier this week), February itself and the toll of illness in the lives of my people and friends as well as my own sniffing and kleenex blowing. I’ve bought kleenex twice this month. Blown through the nine-box pack I bought at Sam’s Club.
Today is the 26th. Two more days and then we will have March. What's going on with you all?