1. A man from Sierra Leone came to Zion 7 times since Monday morning. He rang the bell 7 times hoping to meet me and each time he was told I wasn't there. I was giving home communion and visiting pastors from ZOOM partner congregations. I was at a text study and making an offer on a house and buying candles from the Dollar Tree.
2. Then, suddenly, I was there and I got to meet Ezekiel. He told me that he lives a few blocks away and had a dream that he should join Zion. "But first I must know the head of the church. I must meet the one who will lead us." I told him that Jesus will lead us, but that I'd be happy to help. He flashed a wide, bright smile and told me I was a Funny Sister.
3. Donald has seizures and grew up in an orphanage and is a few cards short of a deck. He shows up hours early to the Lyndale Community Dinner and calls me every week to get my advice about things. This week he called to tell me that he and Julie were going to see the movie Promised Land together. He wanted to double check that they should go Dutch and each pay for their own ticket. Good idea, Donald. They gave me the movie review tonight. Four thumbs up.
4. There is a 15 month old boy at ZOOM House and he melts my heart. Andre is stocky and bowl-legged and likes it when I lift him up so he can touch the ceiling. He squeals and I melt while I remember holding him until he fell asleep as a newborn. Our new-ness at Zion is wearing off, Andre and me.
5. I get to open envelopes that contain generous checks and grants and opportunities for partnership. I also get mass emails about the world ending and my duty to protect my people with a Certificate of Salvation.
6. I drink a lot of coffee. Sometimes I have so many coffee dates lined up that I need to reapply Chapstick and I have the shakes by mid-afternoon. And then there's the (very) occasional beer at lunch or an early happy hour with pastor friends. While you're in your cubical, I'm being vocationally supported at the Happy Gnome. Suckers.
7. I get to love people in an incredibly heartbreaking and nosey way. People thank me for calling and getting up in their business. I help doctors revoke drivers' licenses and stage interventions. I weep when families fall apart and pray for young adults not so sure about whether God's at work in their lives. I believe in the power of people caring about each other and the strength folks receive from knowing I'm cheering them on.
8. Every Wednesday night I sit in a circle with the world's most fabulous people. Recovery Worship draws folks from AA, NA, OA, EA, Al Anon, Grief and Loss, Eating Disorders, Mental Illness, Transition, Abuse, Divorce, and just real life survivors who aren't afraid to acknowledge how messy life can be. They preach to me by showing up and being themselves.
9. I hold peoples' hands while they die and help their family members find a comfortable and confident way to be in the room next to them. Lots of people have never touched someone dying or dead. I get to help them connect the past, the present, and the future with a touch.
10. New life is everywhere. It's in the font at baptism and my son's hand when he shakes yours as a Greeter. (It's knock-your-socks-off cute.) It's in the loaf of bread we give visitors and the mystical way all kinds of people come together around food on Wednesdays at dinner. It's in the coffee and cookies we'll force feed you after worship, carrying the tray of treats around until they're gone. It's in the quilts our ladies make and send halfway around the world. It's in the GEDs moms next door earn and the quiet way Gary drives 4 people home every week.
And I have the coolest job in the world because I get to tell about it.
Lucky, lucky me.