February 11, 2014
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My husband is preparing to retire. I have started a new chapter in my vocation, honored to work with ECF on their new Vital Teams program that focuses on team-based leadership development for ministry in the church. It is a part-time position that’s slowly ramping up but will more than likely be part-time for the foreseeable future. For now, I continue to work on a very part-time basis as priest in charge of the faith community I served over the past seven years. All of a sudden, I find myself with time the likes I of which I have not had for at least 25 years.
It is W.H Auden who said, “Time is our choice of How to love and Why” (For the Time Being). I thought of that line on Wednesday as I sat with a friend over a leisurely lunch filled with laughter and insight. We got together not because we had to get something done or work something out. We enjoy each other’s company, pure and simple. On the very first day of my new work-week, I spent another good long while on the phone with a far-away friend who recently fell and broke her ankle. Homebound and somewhat isolated because of the brutal winter, my friend had an equal measure of time available, albeit forced rather than chosen. Our conversation meandered and when I hung up, there was simply the joy of having gotten to hang out with her.One of my favorite Gospel passages happens early in John, when two of John the Baptist’s followers are intrigued by Jesus, and in an exchange with him are invited to come see where he is staying. The passage never gives any details about that place—whether it was a house, a tent or a small cave. But it does say that they remained with Jesus for the rest of the day. This was the beginning of their discipleship. Much more would be required of them and infinitely more would develop from that encounter. But it started with a few folks filling time with meaning and love by being together. I am thankful for time I now have for friendship. I look forward to the time in friendship I will get to spend with all kinds of people who I have met along the way. I am especially thankful for the time I will get to spend in easy silence with the One who said he no longer calls me servant but friend.