Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical
hermionesviolin

"sacred work"

Yesterday afternoon, Carolyn emailed me to say she has shingles and so couldn't go to church on Sunday and asked me to lift up various prayers for her.  One of these was for a woman she shared a taxi with Thursday morning, and I thought about how far we expand the circle of whom we are praying for when we as a community lift up all those who are on our hearts.  I'd recently seen on friendfriends someone complaining about the way Joys & Concerns worked at her church, commenting that, "we really don't need to know your neighbor's hamster died."  Admittedly, I made a similar complaint the one time I went to ASC, but I think that ultimately I come down on the side of people lifting up those joys and concerns that are on their hearts (I know I don't lift up every single thing I'm praying about, and I think that's legitimate, but I'm hesitant around explicitly or even implicitly censoring people -- though obviously people take cues from the community, which isn't necessarily a bad thing).

At CHPC this morning, MaryR. said that she came to church today with a heavy heart, that her brother-in-law who had recently had a double lung transplant and has been fighting really hard (and who has five children) isn't going to make it.  She literally broke down in tears partway through, which almost never happens when folks are lifting up their Prayer Concerns.  I was watching her crying quietly and dabbing her eyes with a tissue after she'd finished, and I felt like someone should go hug her, but I'm always hesitant not wanting to make people uncomfortable if maybe they'd rather not have someone with them, but a couple other people lifted up prayers and no one moved to sit with her and so I went up and put one arm around her and sat next to her.  She put one arm around me, so I decided that was sufficient indication that she actively appreciated it and wasn't just politely putting up with my efforts.

After service was over, Paul and Hilary were the first people to come over, and Paul said to me that was a good thing I did, and I thanked him.

I got an email tonight:
Subject: support today

Hi Elizabeth,
Thank you so much for your support today in church. It was so kind of you as I grieved the impending loss of my brother-in-law.  I had just heard the news as I arrived at church so had not had a chance to deal with it. I really appreciated your being there.
Blessings to you and warm regards,
Mary
Tags: we try and fix what comes apart
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