Last Sunday, a forlorn little voice in my head said, “I just wanna go into a church building and sit down.“ I got over it.
Sitting on a new bench my husband set up by our closet door felt more like a church pew than anything I’ve sat on for months. It afforded a full view out big windows. At one point I saw an eagle go soaring past — in keeping with some of the lyrics to the music — close enough to see the white tail feathers. There is a large wooden eagle in full view up front at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Hudson, visible on their worship videos.
Deacon Steve traveled there in the bitter cold on Feb. 7, 2021. He referred to his prior experience being a performer and delivered a few good one-liners. One involved saying he overheard as he was leaving back in March after he’d last presided there, that it would be a “cold day…” before they’d have him back again. Muffled chuckles could be heard from what he presumed were “smiling faces.”
One of the readings mentioned “canopy.” Deacon Steve spoke about the gospel, which was regarding the fourth of 37 miracles performed by Jesus in the New Testament. We heard of a woman who was near death with a fever. The next thing we know she’s up making refreshments for her guests.
He said it seems like there are some details missing in the story. So, he filled in with events from his own life.
One time he flew back to surprise his parents for Thanksgiving. A snowstorm stranded him at MSP. The canopy he slept under that night was a bench at the airport. When he got to his parents’ place the next day, looking forward to making a big entrance, he open the door to find his dad pacing and his mom in pain on the couch. They took her to the hospital; she needed her appendix removed. As they were wheeling her away for surgery, she waved at them to come closer so she could impart some important information — what time to put the turkey in the oven.
He concluded, particularly during times of bleakness, often “the miraculous and mundane are side by side.”
He made announcements about birthdays and anniversaries, and ongoing charitable projects providing food and shelter.
The closing prayer requested that for the things we seek faithfully “we may attain them effectually.”