The parishioner that I traveled into town to pray with before her surgery yesterday is in a great deal of pain. The surgeon was unable to repair all of the damage to her spine. We wait, and we pray. Of course we hope.
Another parishioner whose only brother died suddenly less than two weeks ago called to say her mother had died last night. We'll do the burial Holy Saturday. We carry the burden of her pain, and we pray.
A dear friend, pastor of two churches, emailed with a request for prayer. Her father died yesterday morning. She'll spend Holy Week going home to make burial arrangements, then return to serve Easter in her two churches and then go home yet again for his funeral. Our hearts hurt for her, and we pray.
Every day of Holy Week (as we do everyday of every week) we gather morning and evening to pray. This morning, one other woman and I knelt in St. Mary's prayer garden, in a corner of the nave, and read the lessons for Holy Tuesday and prayed for so many. As we prayed for these three, we lit candles one by one by one.
Tomorrow, Holy Wednesday, we'll celebrate Holy Eucharist with the Sacrament of Healing in place of Morning Prayer. On a good week, ten folks come to this Eucharist. We'll pray, and we will be fed by Christ.
Sometimes, like this week especially, it feels like there is so much suffering and sadness. Then I read words from Brother Curtis Almquist: Our life is not about hoarding or about conserving for its own sake but its opposite: about giving. Our life is about willingly giving up our life and our life’s energies as we see in Christ’s own self-emptying.
The worship leader who faithfully prayed Morning Prayer Holy Monday when she was a congregation of one. Abundant giving.
The woman who came up to St. Mary's this afternoon and set up as carefully and prayerfully for the Eucharist a handful will attend tomorrow as the group of faithful women will on Holy Saturday for the hundreds who will join us for Easter Sunday. Abundant giving.
Meanwhile, emails travel silently across computers and tablets and smart phones with words of care and prayer. Abundant giving.
Every little moment this Holy Week that is not hoarded or conserved but given. It is a good Holy Week rhythm.