Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Another Lee Valley, Black Hills, sacred ground, life-giving week… Another Black Hills 3 mile run!
In the mean time the rest of the team is busy in the midst of the Institute’s Milestones conference.
I appreciate the Milestones of birth, baptism, communion, even driver’s licenses and graduations. I also recognize that many of the most meaningful milestones I did not recognize until well after.
I remember well the official Bishop blessing that was given during a service for Dick, David and myself, a blessing of our ministry and work at The Youth & Family Institute. This particular blessing spoke kind words of Dick, of David, and… when he got to me I realized he really did not know me and made up words, at one point calling me one of the great “lone ranger” youth ministers of our time. “Lone Ranger!” I wanted to step forward and object. If anything the trade mark of my ministry has been the ability to equip and empower others. This particular blessing, meant to be a milestone, carried very little significance for me.
The days that followed took me to Chicago, where I was to speak for a youth gathering. On a walk down a street, a large, black woman, asking for $5 dollars, approached me. She gave me the story of her car breaking down and needing bus money. It was a good story, even believable, which is the art of the panhandlers. I have to admit it was not my nature to hand over money but for some reason I did. What followed was a hug, wrapped in her big arms, and a prayerful blessing. I wish I remembered the words. But this was significant.
I look back and realize now that my milestone blessing, the affirming of me, the affirming of ministry, was not to be the words of a Bishop, but were to be the words of women whose name I will never know, while on an unknown street in Chicago.
Posted by LG at 10:22 AM