Today was my installation service, and it was lovely. I alternated between the giddy desire to high-five everyone and fighting back tears of joy. I'm still processing, but I'm mostly thankful and happy and ready for what's next.
Sometimes services like these have times for preaching, but I felt an urge to write a responsive poem rather than a prose lesson. So I've included it below.
Thanks y'all, for helping carry me to this moment.
I imagine that Noah stood by the window on the ark much more often than he should have.
Head out of the musk of animals and the heat of arguments.
Looking, just looking at water like glass that surrounded them.
Waiting, just waiting for the bird to return with hope in its beak.
I imagine that Jacob stood by the door to his tent much more often than he should have.
Head out of the cloth darkness and away from his arguing wives.
Looking, just looking for his long lost son.
Waiting, just waiting for a sign that he should hold on to hope.
I imagine that Moses stood on the edge of the promised land much longer than he should have.
Head out of the elders circles and tribal squabbling.
Looking, just looking for the returning scouts.
Waiting, just waiting for the return that would bring hope to his people again.
And I imagine that Mary Magdalene stood by the empty tomb much longer than Scripture reports her to have.
Her head filled with grief and anger and shock at the evil of the world.
Looking, just looking for her beloved teacher and friend.
Waiting, just waiting for a sign that hope could come out of a graveyard.
They have been my waiting companions, these men and women.
When I was tired of the long days ahead, when the long days ahead had no visible terminus.
When I was hopeless of the state of things, desperately seeking the change that would come.
When I was looking, just looking for a sign that the call I was faithful to would one day actually become real.
They waited with me.
and of the God who was faithful through it all.
I have stood long on the edge of my call, longer than I thought I would.
My head, my mind out of sync with those around me, away from normal dreams.
I have been looking, just looking for the place where I could serve.
I have been waiting, just waiting for the church that would walk alongside me to speak hope to a hopeless world.
And here we are.
Done with looking.
Done with waiting.
We have found each other,
found dry land,
and the Risen Christ.
Thanks be to God.
Thanks be to God.