Yesterday I was working while going to church, which unfortunately you can do when you go to online church. I'm looking forward to sitting in a pew and just going to church when I leave my job working in religion. I literally cannot remember the last time I did that. Maybe General Assembly last June--but that's not the same kind of church. It's like Big-Top-Tent church, good and exciting, but it doesn't smell like coffee and you can't hear the fussy babies so it's not regular church.
I love the Church of the Larger Fellowship's online worship, it's really fabulous. And the Japanese Bowl sermon last week by the intern minister Joanna Crawford is still sitting on my heart. But it's easy to sit at the computer and do stuff while going to online church. Yesterday I decided I should clean out some of the thousands of emails in the inbox of the email account that I'll turn over in just under three months. It's 1998 technology, so not easy to manage. I can delete about 12 emails at a time, and that still takes almost a full minute.
I was back on emails from September 2010--deleting away 12 at a time. I saw the opening of the church building go by--October 2010--preparing for the dedication of the building. Frantic panic about 30 more kids than we'd expected. Funny to see little snippets go by just from reading subjects.
And then I saw an email with the subject, "Bad News."
Bad news. I could hear the blood pound in my ears and reached for the sweater on the chair next to me--suddenly I was freezing cold.
I opened the email. It told about a new development in the cancer, about a painful biopsy. It was rye with dry humor and still held hope. There was a string of supportive emails that followed, the women of the church sending love and light and hope and offering casseroles and child care. I read them, and tears fell to see the love and care and hope.
About one year later, the hope was over. A couple of months ago, we held the memorial service. She had to leave her sweet children behind which I am certain broke her heart and pissed her off, but the end was so fast that we never got to talk about it.
A simple little task. Emptying a long neglected inbox. But you fall in the chasm of this thing, this human condition. So hard, but really it is nothing at all. Really. Nothing at all.
I am grateful to be having a bad day, because I am blessed to be here and aware and crabby and unjustly accused and unappreciated and thank God, it's a day.