- On the second page of the morning newspaper there was a big picture of me and the Church with a question and answer article about our Christmas Day dinner. Part of my breakfast reading.
- A man I had known since I was a child interrupted breakfast by ringing to ask me a question. He lives alone and his much loved dog had died a few days ago. "What was the passage in the Bible where it speaks of God knowing when a little bird dies?"
- I drove to the office and about a block before the church I spotted a woman from one of my chapliancies. Her father in England is gravely ill and she left today to go see him, say her goodbyes, and to look after her mum. I pulled the car to a halt as soon as I safely could, leapt out and yelled her name. She came running up and we embraced warmly holding each other tight. I was so pleased to see her before she left. I felt her pain but also that sense of privilege of being on the journey "with" her.
- In the office I had people ringing and booking in for Christmas Day dinner. As well as that I felt shivery and not well. I took some pills and had a coffee.
- A man called to see me and remind me he was helping me on Friday. But his main reason for calling was to see how I was. (knowing my plumbing problems) We talked and when he left I thanked him and said it was always nice to see him. He said, "No... thank you... I wish I could spend more time with you!"
- A man who visits our Space2B and drop-in came to my office to chat and catch up. Then I talked with folks in Space2b enjoying their friendship. The street sweeper who has his lunch there had purchased "Chai seed" for me so that I can spread it on my porridge. "It will help your cholesterol." he assured me. So nice of him to go to that trouble.
- A woman rang to tell me she would drop off some goodies for the Night Shelter tomorrow.
- A man came in to say he wants to sing at our Christmas day dinner. He has a Christmas song to share with his banjo! He is "different" but it will help the fun.
- I had a coffee with a couple of guys where we talked strategies for fundraising for the Night Shelter. It was so good to spend time with these two where we were on the same wave length and keen for our cause.
- I came back to the Church to learn that a man had donated a ham for the Christmas Dinner and that a firefighter had called at Space2b. Yesterday I had rung him to see how he was after recent surgery but had only left a message. He had decided to drop by to see me, but had obviously appreciated my attempted contact.
- I then visited an elderly man in hospital who is not in good shape. I spoke with his daughter about prospects and we swapped phone numbers. This man was my childhood minister and is now 97 and is very frail. As I walked from the hospital back to the office I could not help but think of his influence on my life. While we are very different, he led me to feel free to think outside the box in my faith. When others around were "flat-earth" christians he gave me permission not to leave my brains at the church door. He gave me a good springboard from which to journey in faith. If this is his time it will be part of my life ending too. I hope it isn't his time, I really don't want a funeral thrown into Christmas busyness, but that is selfishness. The visit brought a level of sadness along with uncertainty and stress.
- In between all these activities I worked on ideas for Sunday's church service, wondering how to retell the Christmas stories in a relevant way.
- I counted up all those booked in so far for Christmas day dinner - 240.
- I visited the fire station after the change of shifts at 6 p.m. and talked with the crew who will come and assist on Christmas day. Along with giving a lot of cheek they were ready to do as much as they could to help. While there I learned of the improvement in health of a retired firefighter who had been critically ill. I feel an affinity with his family. I knew him well before he retired and I conducted the wedding ceremony for a fire fighter and his daughter. (She is a paramedic in St John Ambulance) My wife also has links with his wife. They are both St John Ambulance Friends of the Emergency Department volunteers. I was pleased with the better news, though he is still seriously ill.
- I had an evening meal with my wife, daughter and son-in-law as we planned the final issues of staging the Christmas Day dinner. We worked out what needed to be done.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Here are some highlights from my day...