Thursday, May 8, 2008

First Word, Second Word, Final Word

So the first "word" I received through Mary Marcotte's divine exercise on the BE was SERVE. And so I did.

Upon my return from "Fantasy turn Reality" I began to madly prep for our officer's retreat four days from my return. I decided to bring along 'the words' to do with our officers. They loved it. It worked beautifully. The word I pulled?

SERVE.

And so I did. That weekend, and for the last 5 weeks, it seems there have been almost non-stop crises, interventions, ugly behavior in meetings, strained relationships, friends in hospital, unexpected deaths, children in trauma.

By the time I arrived at the Confirmation retreat last weekend after a funeral, I learned that the advisers had left their entire plans for the retreat at home. They could not remember what they planned. I went numb.

It's not that I can't plan retreats on the fly. I can. I am a retreat junkie. But to create a plan in a bubble without letting the kids know we're unprepared is worse than the nightmares we've all had about ending up in the pulpit on a Sunday AM, in our bras and panties, without a sermon in hand. Well at least it is for me.

I spiritually got on my hands and knees and begged God to show up, care for, intervene, and make God's presence known to a group of students who have been reticent all year long (as well as their parents) about the "new" process that the "new" pastor put in place. This retreat would either make or break them and me.

I brought the cards again. I handed them out. I pulled one too.

The retreat commenced. In no time at all it went from awkward conversation over hoagies to a hilarious, playful, tender, deep, and wildly successful retreat.

24 hrs later, when we shared "our words" around the table right before communion, almost every student (and advisor) could talk about their word meaningfully. It was beautiful and poignant and I was so deeply relieved and thankful.

I shared my word.

You guessed it.

GRACE

8 comments:

Songbird said...

Oh, I love this. Amen.

DogBlogger said...

Grace does abound, doesn't it?

zorra said...

Woo hoo! What a great story.
Yes, grace abounds.
Glad to hear from you again.

ElastiGirl said...

grace indeed - wow!

RevDrKate said...

Oh wowo, just wow. Been wondering what's been up since the BE...now we know...Grace is up!

will smama said...

i love it too.
nice....

mompriest said...

I'm posting your "interview" in the Monday Meet and Greet, June 2. Thanks!

Diane said...

grace! it was good to meet you, and I loved this story.