Thursday, February 6, 2014

No longer like or as

I remember a phrase that my grandmother used to say when I got a cut, or a scrape, or a bruise.  "It will get better before you get married." Then she would kiss the boo-boo, give me a pat on the small of my back and move me on to something better than seeking attention.  The day before my wedding, I remember cutting myself shaving, and thinking to myself, "Don't worry, it will get better before you get married."  I heard it in my grandmother's voice.  Then it struck me, "NO, IT WON'T!  I will be getting married tomorrow and this will still be on my face tomorrow."

We are at that point with my ordination.  Tomorrow (Friday, the 7th of February) is the rehearsal, and the next day, God willing and people consenting, I will be ordained an Episcopal priest.  The next day I am set to celebrate my first Eucharist.  Busy, head-spinning weekend, and I am excited and nervous and running through everything line by line, but I find myself glossing over what I just read.  It is funny.  I have been to the dance before.  I have hands laid on me twice now, but I can honestly say this one feels different.  Truly.

It is not that I was not ordained by the wonderful Community of Grace Church in 1995, because I was and performed weddings, funerals, baptisms and all kinds things legally and correctly within the Baptist context.  6 months and change ago, I was ordained a deacon in the Episcopal Church and I have been leading and serving in a church since that time (and happily get to stay there, huzzah!).  But Saturday is almost like a coming of age ritual for me.  It is a realization of a drastic change in my understanding that started 10 years ago.  It is like I found a home that I did not know I was missing and I am starting to move in boxes and unpack and I actually get to call this space a home of my own.  I have put in the sweat equity and have no problem saying, "Yes, I am an Episcopal priest."  (Good Lord willing and the people consenting, of course.)

Today in my class we looked at the difference of similes and metaphors.  Similes are comparisons that use like or as to describe a relationship between two things.  Metaphors say This is That.  I feel like Saturday, the similes will be slipping away, and Rock is a Priest.  This is That.  It will be like a well-made suit slipping on after all the measurements have been made and because of the expertise of the craftsman it will fit just so.  Will there be alterations?  Probably.  There usually are.  But it is the difference of taking in three inches off the rack or bringing it in 3 mm from the master tailor.  It has all come together in this Now.  In this Here.  I am ready to start down this road.

I know that the following days and weeks will be crazy and stressful, but it such a blessing to be able to move into these roles.  I could not be more thankful for all the people who talked, corrected, cajoled, dismissed, encouraged, trained, bolstered, supported, fired, harassed, blessed, and loved me into the person I get to be.  And I am thankful for the journey, all the starts, stops, hiccups, and failures that have shaped me into the man and priest I am becoming.  Thanks be to God.  Soli Deo Gloria!

1 comment:

  1. So proud of you, Father Rock, and blessed to know you!


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Blessings, Rock