Perhaps the greatest gift of being a pastor is the beautiful people with whom we get to share the journey.
One of them, now well into her eighties, is a person of deep conviction and commitment. In fact, when I came to serve her congregation, she promised to pray for me every day. And she did. Every day, for 15 years, she prayed for me, my family and my work.
When I left that congregation, she said that since she’d been praying for me every day for 15 years, she saw no real reason to stop and promised to pray for my ministry at Covenant every day. And I know she has.
This lovely woman had plenty of strong convictions about social justice, but she could not bring herself to agree with the ordination of gay and lesbian persons. When the Presbyterians started debating the idea 20 years ago she studied, read, prayed, sought different opinions, did everything she could, but she just couldn’t change her mind.
I talked to her recently about another matter, and, as you might expect, the subject of same-gender marriage came up. I inquired gently how she was processing the new guidelines that allow it in the Presbyterian Church. Her answer couldn’t have surprised me more:
“I’m ok with it,” she said. “I can’t say I really like it, but I am ok with it. I’m not sure why. I guess I grew. Imagine that … growing and changing at my age. I suppose God isn’t done with me after all.”
Of course God isn’t done with her, or with any of us. We can be grateful, should we choose to be, even if it means loosening our grip on old certainties, blurring comfortable boundaries, and humbly embracing a new and even uncertain future.