On Friday afternoons as others are gearing up for a weekend, I am honored.
I spend time reading to a friend in a retirement community here. I knew him for a few years before a stroke rearranged his mind. No longer can the pastor preach or read. But, he's been every bit as much of a pastor to me than any other I have ever had on my journey.
It was a Friday in mid-March when we first started meeting. On one of the first Fridays, I came to him to read to him and broke down in tears. My husband, from whom I am separated was very seriously ill and being taken to a major hospital from our community hospital. I was facing the reality that my kids' father might not live and how would I handle that.
I imagine in times like these, clergy and spiritual leaders must pray, "Please God, help me to say what you need me to say. Help me to say what they need to hear..."
I had been totally numb until I walked into his room. It was in that moment when I could let down my guard and allow the tears to come. Without saying a word, we prayed, we sat, and he was the presence of God for me. I felt compassion and care. I was pastored.
When I come into his room, we smile and giggle. He whispers a few words and I blather on...
Why am I honored ?
Because I get to read his mail to him. He receives gobs of church newsletters, wonderful cards and letters. We often get misty from the lovely and encouraging things these dear friends write to him. We often laugh until we cry. I do not know any of the people who write to him, but I feel like I do. I enjoy the everyday stories of life that friends share with other friends. It's what real life is. I feel honored to be invited in to share in these moments.