Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Hospital Visitation, Or, People are Weird

I feel like I'm always starting my blogs by apologizing for one thing or another; either it's been too long since my last post, or I'm posting late in a church season and I neglected to write anything earlier in the season (that got me on Lent and Easter this year). So therefore I'm not apologizing today for the gap since my last blog post. I will only articulate my regret is that it's getting harder for me to figure out what to write about.

Being in new career fields, one that requires me to protect patient privacy and the other that requires me to keep operational information secure, makes it hard sometimes to figure out what I can write and share.
I borrowed this from Savage Paramedics on Facebook

Anyway, the upshot is that I started a new ministry at church recently: I'm now helping out the group that takes communion to the hospital. I haven't been doing this long, but already I'm realizing that there's something meme-worthy about bringing a spiritual thing into a place of modern healing.

Before I get too far into this (because I feel like some of you might balk and clutch your pearls at what I'm about to share), I offer a disclaimer: I believe in the value of taking things that have spiritual realities to people who could not otherwise access them. And in true fashion, I will share a little of that insight later on... after I share the clutch-your-pearls happenings.

Monday, February 18, 2019

In the Wake of #PolarVortex2019

The Polar Vortex came and went (again; and may come again) in Minnesota! Right on the heels of the government shutdown, school districts across the state and the region were cancelling, in lieu of stupid cold temperatures (that's a scientific measurement, by the way). It's always strange to me that the state itself won't go ahead and call off school when it's colder here than on parts of the surface of Mars, but obviously there are smarter people than me making those decisions...

This from the National Weather Service. And this wasn't
even as cold as it got...
All of the advice from media and the authorities was that we should avoid going out as much as possible. In temperatures like what we had, hypothermia can start in less than five minutes. And I'm not scoffing at that; I've had enough training and done enough winter adventuring to know that you need to prepare to go out, or all kinds of suffering and gnashing of teeth will ensue. But that being said, I know people who do scoff, saying things about when I was your age and mocking those who feel more than chilled at stupid cold temperatures (again, scientific assessment).

I'm of two minds when it gets so cold; I want to stay inside, stay warm. And I want everyone else to do the same. Meanwhile, I also see all the snow and think of how much fun it could be. Though there wasn't much snow during  the Polar Vortex, most of that came afterward. But in regard to wanting people to stay inside, I react with something resembling anger when I see people out walking from place to place when the air can literally freeze your bodily tissues solid. Seems stupid to me. But on the other hand, I feel like there's this you are your brother's keeper thing stirring in me; I have a warm house. How many people don't have that?

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Advent Is Coming! And There It Goes...

Happy (liturgical) new year! For those of you, dear readers, who come from less liturgically focused traditions, the season of Advent encompasses the four Sundays before Christmas and prompts us to prepare for Christ's coming as a baby into our world. It's officially the start of the next yearly rotation of liturgical seasons. And I find this season fascinating, because it's both the beginning and the end. It prepares us for Christmas, specifically to recognize that when Christ arrived bodily into this world, he was both the savior (big responsibility) and a defenseless, helpless infant (itty bitty operating capacity).

But Advent also points to the end. And yeah, I mean like that crazy guy on the corner with 'the end is near' on a sandwich board, end of the world type stuff. Advent also prompts us to prepare ourselves and be vigilant for that. Like the story of the ten bridesmaids in Matthew's gospel, we don't know when Christ will come into this world again, so we need to keep alert. And Advent helps us with that, but for me it's also a reminder that the encounter with Christ changes everything. Christ as a baby changes everything. Christ will come again with angels and loud trumpet calls and everything will change.

Did I mention that I'm fascinated by Advent? But I'm also really bad at it. I'm not usually in the groove of Advent until the third or fourth Sunday. And then it's basically over and we've got twelve days for the Christmas celebration. Yay! And I'm that jerk who will insist on saying "Happy Advent" while everyone else is fighting about "Merry Christmas," but I'll start saying "Merry Christmas" on the 25th of December and I'll keep saying it until the 6th of January, while everyone else is like "what is this guy doing? Christmas is over..."

So that's (probably) the end of the didactic part of today's blog...

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Working through the Matrix, or, Struggles and Humility

It's odd, sometimes, to see the ways that life may form apparent coincidences. At times, I want to be like Morpheus from The Matrix and assert that there is no such thing as coincidence, only providence. And me being me, I might say only Divine Providence.

But I don't know that I can do that right now. It might be too audacious of me. But at the same time, I do sense a prompt based on this past Sunday's gospel reading and some of the commentary I've heard about it. I feel like those things are prompting me to take a look at where I am now and where I've been over the past five-ish years.