For Christmas, my son got Sea Monkeys in his stocking. Basically, you just add water to the packet and after 24 hours, little sea monkeys should begin to grow. Water has that effect on things. Just add water and life will happen. That’s what my Sunday was like.
After months of no rain, we have had lots of needed rain these past few days. In fact, it started raining Thursday, which is probably when my already busy life just got busier. As the saying goes, “When it rains, it pours.” I already knew this Sunday would be a little crazier than usual knowing that my Head of Staff is recovering from surgery and our intern was off that day as well. We had a guest preacher scheduled so at least I didn’t have to preach. But I wouldn’t have been nervous about that anyway. When my Head of Staff is gone, my nervousness centers around making coffee, which is not a gift that God gave me. The only hope I can have with the coffee I make is that it doesn’t turn new visitors away.
But this Sunday was a day that was truly mixed with blessings and chaos, depending on how much water was added to the mix. Water seems to have that effect. The bible is full of stories of how water can be destructive as well as healing. In addition to going to my church, as moderator of my presbytery, I had the pleasure of going to a colleague’s church to install him as pastor. Sojourner Truth Presbyterian Church has waited ten years to finally have an installed pastor so there was a lot to celebrate on this day. And that’s what the installation truly was. While the downpour rain surely made it chaotic to transport my kids from one place to another, the symbolism of water used at the installation was refreshing and healing.
The newly installed Rev. Kamal Hassan began the service by pouring water into the baptismal font, inviting us to name our ancestors that came before us and whose spirit and memory is ever present with us. I instantly remembered my husband’s grandfather who passed away a couple years ago. He named both my children, whose name coincidentally means “water.” Not the chaotic water. The peaceful water. The still water that you read in Psalm 23.
I tried to remember that every time my baby girl stage dived off the chancel. I’m grateful that Kamal didn’t seem to mind her liturgically dancing and interpreting the constitutional questions when installing him. After all, whether peaceful or chaotic, when you add water, you get life.
One thought on “A Sunday (4) in the Life of a Pastor/Mother: Just Add Water”
Theresa, I went to seminary with Kamal. He is an intensely prophetic pastor. What a reminder of the power of the chaotic water — to move mountains and souls, to connect us with our past, our present, our God. Thank you!