No I haven’t forgotten about the last element in my Orkney posts I just haven’t had time to do it … yet.
Today I get zapped and the last couple of days have been full of things to get done before I am not allowed out in the world for a bit. Yesterday was the bishops visitation to St Andrew’s and as we traveled between the Ecumenical Prayer Group and visiting ‘V’, we talked about the joy of the variety of what we do as the plans changed for the day. It all seems to have been squashed into these last couple of days, apart that is for two important occasions.
One of the things I, and I know lots of my clergy colleagues, feel is that it is a great honour and privilege to conduct someones funeral. So I have to admit to the utter and total helplessness I feel at not being able to take two funerals of faithful members of the congregations. Both of them incredible ladies, both of them will be greatly missed by their individual congregation and I can’t be there to lead them in their grief, remind them of their hope and offer comfort and a glimpse of joy and peace to those of no faith who will gather to mark their deaths. I will not be the one commending those precious souls that the bishop entrusted to me over to God, that dear reader hurts. However, as those who are more than capable and will be leading their funerals will doubtless say, Pat and Dorothy now know no pain or sorrow or hurt and so I will rejoice and give thanks for their lives as I wait in the hospital today and as I stay at home on Saturday, sure in the knowledge that God has care of them.
‘V’ was very distressed when the bishop and I arrived yesterday, and the staff were delighted to see us. At the end of our visit the bishop prayed with her and blessed her. ‘V’, in her inimitable style then told him the story about when the Pope had come to Glasgow and blessed her, he didn’t seem to mind being trumped by a Pope! After lunch we headed off for an afternoon at the Musicals, where we sung and laughed and enjoyed the most sumptuous afternoon tea, afterwards heading back to the church for the stillness of evening prayer before the celebration and reflection of an Agape. While Monday saw meetings one in the diocesan center about vocations and All Saints vestry meeting in the evening with a visit squeezed in between the two and a quick dash into the hospital to see someone before the first. Indeed yesterday started with a quick dash to the hospital to see someone who had been rushed in and wanted to see me before I couldn’t see them. Of course the day before was Sunday and full of services and visits and those aforementioned visits to the bereaved.
They say that variety is the spice of life and we clerics certainly have that, aren’t we lucky? However for a while certain things I can’t do, but I wont get bored I have Bible Studies to prepare for others to lead, papers on Stewardship to work on, a study to tidy which hasn’t been touched since the Holy Week mess descended on it, phonecalls can still be made, letters can still be written, e-mails can still be answered, for a while it turns into a desk job and there are very few clergy who really relish that, for it isn’t what most of us are called to. On the plus side I will get to read some of the pile of books awaiting me, I will get to eat at regular times, daughter has requested I knit a jumper, I hope to get some painting done and I might even get to sort the garden out if the weather is kind. In other words I will get some time off despite the fact I will also still be working so it can’t all be bad. Most of all when it is all over I will get my life back and will no longer be held to hostage by Graves Disease.