Friday, December 28, 2007

An "Auld Lang Syne" Friday Five

Five memorable moments? Hmmm................ The good, the bad, the ugly -- Let's start with the ugly:)

1. Being stuck in the Newark airport for 5 days last January. Hard to find an up-side to that. Still - I did manage to complete all the reading I had been putting off for 6 months.

2. Launching a dear friend and colleague in ministry into a new career - the one God has been calling him to for years. I know that's life in the church - saying goodbye and all that - and it was a glorious moment of God's grace. Still - I miss him, my family misses him, my church misses him.

3. Watching a man I thought of as a friend stand up in a congregational meeting and shake his finger in my face and call me names. I know his life is falling apart and I understand doing crazy things when one is under a lot of stress. Still - definitely a moment I hope never to have again.

4. Breaking my ankle two weeks before moving into a new home. Never broke a bone before. Never want to do it again. Still - a humbling experience all things considered and an opportunity to reflect on the goodness of those who love me. Anyone who could have loved me on crutches must be very good.

5. Moving into a new home with my husband, my son, my mom and two dogs - six weeks before Christmas. See number 3 above concerning crazy levels of stress. Still - it feels right.

Bonus question - a transparent liminal moment of God's grace.
A young woman in my church shared her college application essay with me a day or two ago. Her family has crashed and burned in the last couple of years and it has taken its toll on her - eating disorder, cutting, depression and anxiety. But she has come out the other end of the tunnel and is stronger and more beautiful than ever. In her essay, she writes that growing up is learning that no one escapes tragedy forever as much as we might hope to. She claims her tragedy for her own and lifts it up as an example of God's grace. In her tragedy, she found God's love and mercy and forgiveness through the faith that her church held for her when she could not find her own. In a year that otherwise could pass into history unmourned, I'll take that. It makes the rest of the garbage more than worthwhile.

Happy New Year to all - and to all - God's grace and mercy in 2008.