Living in the grey

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Harvest Rain


The grey here is almost real.
I think that sometimes the grey creeps into my life too easily. Except that I love the grey places. I welcome the grey. I can go into the grey and find real beauty.
Yes there is a strong black and a white on both ends of life, but in between are so many levels of grey.

The grey of an inmate in prison who gets caught between administering bodies, caught with no hope and no help.
They grey of the elderly who long for some simple companionship who see a visit from a guy like me as a highlight to their week.
How about the grey of a loved one who's life became so bad that the only way out they saw was suicide, in spite of their 13 and 15 year old kids.
Or the grey of a young high school student struggling with their sexual identity.

Yes we go into the grey to help and to care for the ones who live there. We try to bring a bit of light and maybe a bit of hope to some grey stories.

That's what my last few weeks have been about, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
Into the Grey Havens.



I wouldn't make a great farmer

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This week has been a very busy week as we make plans for autumn and work with the church here to discern it's future building needs. Along with that and almost on cue, the septic system here blew out and so there have been people here for two days trying to make it all happy again.

But yeah, busy. So here I am at my office on a Saturday with no sermon in the works yet. Tomorrow is tricky because its our Start Up Sunday with classes for everyone and communion and a bbq lunch, so there isn't a lot of time for a 45 minute or even a 25 minute sermon. I'm half thinking and half praying for inspiration.


Prairies. Early harvest.


But the office windows are open and I can hear the hard work going on out there in the local fields. The combines are running and harvest is underway here. It always makes the locals a bit jittery as they wait to get out there and harvest what they can get. That can make the community kind of jumpy and act out in certain ways. It's an added stress to the already many stresses that make up farming life.

Some have had serious hail damage and have lost so much, others have had sudden rain, lots of rain, and while they wait to go, the neighbour who had no rain is out there harvesting a good dry crop.

I'd be freaking out too if I was a farmer. I wouldn't be able to rest until the crop was all in, and that would probably mean from the time I put the seed in the ground till the time I got the crop off I'd be a mess. Yeah, I'd be a lousy farmer that way.  Lot's of pressure and dependence on external uncontrollable things like the weather.

So I'm trying to take the things they would normally be expected to do here at church, and do them instead. I can give lots of energy and time to rewriting drafts and thinking through processes etc. Hopefully that frees them to focus on fields and crops and like that.

Ah the combines are growing quieter now, must be moving on to another field.

These are the rhythms of life in a field and in a church. Both require patience and good timing. The better you are at those things, the better the crop that is harvested.
I suppose that goes for work in a field or in a church.



Sudden Storm

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Sudden Storm

A sudden storm comes late in the summer.
A phone call changes everything.
Lost and found loved ones, life changes.
Death creates a storm that rages all around us.
People die, and the world goes on.

Feels surreal. Feels empty.
There is a space now, where there was a person.
Memories remain, dreams are lost, 
I never expected it.
This sudden storm.



If I were being truthful

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It's Monday, my day off. And like a sucker I am working.
At least I think I'm like a sucker. I think...

No, the church doesn't know I'm working, and the leadership doesn't know that I'm working. I think Lauralea suspects that I am working and has indicated so with a frowny face.

And I don't want to be working, but I am. That's just how it is.

There are some church families/individuals that need attention, and I don't really know how to help them. Some because they cannot really be helped, that's just the reality of life.

But still I am working at it, thinking, processing, trying, praying.
And I am not playing, laughing, resting, re-creating.

THAT really troubles me.
Why some people cannot/will not be helped, in spite of me or us or God even.
I can't just walk away from them. Maybe that's what makes me crazy.

Instead I work and pray to think up the words or language or a process that could maybe help them a little. Give them hope, lead them to life, give them a rope to hang on to.

I know I'm not their messiah, or even Messiah. I know that. It just really ticks me off that some lives fall away, people loose their hope, stories fail, because people are, what's the word, selfish? Stubborn? Fiercely independent?

Maybe I'm just tired that some thirty years into this gig, sometimes there are still people who can't be or won't be helped.

And maybe it scares me because I am one of the most selfish people I know.