“[God is a] God of truth. Only that fellowship which faces such disillusionment, with all its unhappy and ugly aspects, begins to be what it should be in God’s sight, begins to grasp in faith the promise that is given to it.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
The last couple of weeks, and especially this last month has been a hard month for me. I’ve seen many eye doctors and other specialists before I made the decision to have this surgery, and- as I can only imagine with those of you who have had to make surgery decisions too- it was really hard. There was a good chunk of time that I had to worry about everything and try to anticipate what the recovery process and the post-surgical adjustment period would be like, and sometimes that time was not helpful, but sometimes it was. While this is not a surgery I wanted to have, it has relieved the pain that I was experiencing and that alone is well worth it.
I want to say thank you to you all for your prayers and support. I give thanks to our Council and for all of you for understanding about the need to rest and recover and for granting a medical leave. I’m grateful for Pastors Rod Hill and Sarah Friesen-Carper who were with Lorelai, Kristen, and I through the process. Our Parish Nurse, Linda Harness, was a great long-term support both medically and spiritually. Our staff did a wonderful job of doing what they always do for our congregation. And you all have been truly amazing- from calls, texts, Facebook comments, numerous cards of encouragement, and a wonderful welcome back: Thank you!
Bonhoeffer is right. The fellowship, the community that faces disillusionment with all of its unhappy and ugly aspects of life, of ministry, and of faith, somehow begins to transform itself into what God would have it to be, and it begins to grasp the promise that God leaves to it. My hope for us over the summer and over these next couple of years is that we would intentionally form ourselves into that fellowship or community. Life is messy. Health is messy. Surprise, surprise, the church is messy too. The more we can embrace that, and the more we can come together in prayer groups and vigils for others like you did for me, the deeper we will grow in our faith. We’re doing some wonderful work together, but we still have a way to go and we are poised to take the next steps.
Are you ready to go?