Last Tuesday, February 6, 2018, When I was about to go to sleep, I started feeling a little tickle in my throat… I did not make anything out of it and tried to ignore it as much as possible and went on with my busy week. By Saturday, I had no voice so I kept as quiet as possible.
Sunday morning, my voice was a bit better but not enough to carry on two full worship celebrations one after the other. I did not want to call in sick and stay home, because it is more than being in accountable ministry, it is about seeing and being with the people I love.
Last Sunday, February 4, 2018, we celebrated our five-year anniversary of our covenant of ministry together and it was a wonderful celebration. At the start of the service, Carl Leggett, our “Ambassador” at Elgin United Church got up and shared how wonderful it is that we are in this ministry together, even if sometimes we have had some misunderstandings. My immediate reaction was, “I’d rather have some little misunderstandings with people I trust than others”.
When people close to me told me, “You are a woman, you cannot become a minister”, the United Church of Canada embraced me, The Elgin-Portland Pastoral Charge also embraced me as their intern from September 2009-May 2010, and then as their student minister for the months of June and July of 2010… How can I not love these people, this community? What a joy it is to be here and be part of these small communities, who live with the Great Love of God.
So, yesterday, on Transfiguration Sunday, February 11, 2018, I barely had the voice to carry on the worship services, and as usual, people stepped up. Larry Cochran helped lead the service in Portland, then in Elgin, Carl Leggett and Marian Cooper helped lead the service. During the sermon, while I was sharing how we need to find quiet times and spaces to have God’s Light transform us and give us the courage to go down the mountain and be with the people in mundane of daily life, the Spirit whispered in my heart, which I shared with the congregations, “Maybe it is a good thing that I do not have my normal voice, so that people can find God’s voice in this quiet setting”.
It is so easy to complain about having colds and flus and I do not blame anyone for complaining, because it does make us feel helpless and voiceless, but maybe it is a good way of practicing reliance on God and others, practicing quietness to hear the silent presence of the Holy One.
May we be blessed with healing in this mid-winter cold season and try to find the silver lining in the dark clouds that surround us. Amen.