A series of meditations in 2015, by the Rector, Staff, Parishioners, and Friends of the Parish.
Oddly, we start with a quotation from animated series King of the Hill:
Hank Hill: “Don’t even try to take credit for that.”
Dale Gribble: “It was not done by me. It was done through me.”
We have all felt like Dale after a key accomplishment, Christopher included. He told me so regarding the Parish Prayer: “Lord God, Thank you for all of it, especially this part of it.” It’s an amazing prayer he thinks of as a gift from God to him – and it is one for us, too.
When I am centered and calm, the prayer effortlessly expresses gratitude. When challenges arrive, it prompts me to consider how “this part of it” merits thanks; it transforms frustration into insight.
Sometimes, however, I can’t make it to the final phrase.
My name recently appeared on the prayer list. After a great trip to Costa Rica, I fell ill: twelve days of fever, two nights in the hospital, and a diagnosis of leptospirosis–a bacterial infection. It took three weeks to recover once I was released.
At the hospital I couldn’t appreciate “this part of it.” A few days later I did. The good fortune we Christ Church parishioners share became clear – and not just our creature comforts. As the congregation surrounded me, I realized “this part of it” meant being part of a community who cares for each other deeply and spiritually. Dozens reached out, with flowers from the altar, by phone, and in person.
This is evident at Christ Church in wonderful ways. The Schroeder building is one obvious example. Additionally, this summer I attended two funerals at Christ Church that seemed quite different. At one, we mourned a young man whose death was horribly sad and a shocking body blow to the entire North Shore. At the other, we celebrated the long life of a woman who prepared herself and us for her death. The key similarity was that in the pews, there were dozens of the same people who are present every Sunday. The funerals looked like Sunday Christ Church services – but with many guests.
When a member or family is having trouble with “this part of it,” we are there for each other in full spiritual force. These days, when I say the Parish Prayer and “this part of it” isn’t clear, my thoughts go there.
Questions for the week:
What am I thankful for? What seemed like a ‘curse’ that I became thankful for in time? What does gratitude teach me about God?
Todd Trubey, Parishioner