Friday, August 27, 2010

I'll Be Glad When It's Next Friday

In my denomination, those of us on the track heading for ordination as Ministers of Word and Sacrament meet annually with a committee which oversees our progress, such as it is.  My last meeting with my committee was in June, right after my graduation from seminary.  One of the main topics of discussion, of course, was my need to re-take the exegesis exam.  (Exegesis, in case you're wondering, essentially means interpretation.  In this context, it means the kind of research and interpretation of a Biblical text you would undertake prior to writing a sermon.  It's kind of  like writing a research paper in English about a passage in Hebrew or Greek.)

A couple of days after that June  meeting, one of the committee members, a retired pastor, called me at home and said that he wanted to make a suggestion.  "You can ignore it, "he said.  "I've been a pastor for a long time; I've done all kinds of training and pastoral care.  But I've never been through anything like what you have, so I may be completely off the mark.  Do whatever you want with my idea.  I could be completely wrong about it, and I certainly don't want to offend you."

Here it comes, I thought, and sat down at the kitchen table. Breathe deeply.  Finally someone is going to say it:  What do you think you're doing?  It's time for you to give up.  People whose children die by suicide cannot become pastors.

"Do you think," he asked, "that you could take the exam in honor of your son's memory?  Would that help?"


And so I am off to Pittsburgh tomorrow to try to do just that.  And Wednesday I will come back to honor my sons' 26th birthdays, and on Thursday we will mark Josh's absence from us for two years.

Josh ~ High School Graduation ~ 2003


  1. Knowing that I'm praying this week for that exam (in English!).

  2. Blessings to you, Robin. You go accompanied by many prayers.

  3. Thinking of you with much love, many prayers and wishing you peace.

    And I really love that picture of Josh. What a beautiful, impish smile!

  4. candle will be lit, prayers will be offered throughout.

  5. Tears... and prayers... and blessings go with you, who are already God's equipped and gifted minister.

  6. many, many blessings be upon you through all that this week holds. much love to you.

  7. Continue to hold you honoring Josh in my heart.

  8. A wise man.

    And tough days ahead.

    Hang in there, my friend. We walk as close beside you as we can.

  9. In his honor. Beautiful notion. He is honored by all you do. Praying special fervent prayers for you this coming week. Friday is coming.
    Hugs and love.

  10. Sending love and prayers as you courageously do this. It reminds me of the homily we heard during Mass at G.U. on Sunday, about having the humility to listen to the wisdom of others. Your professor offered his idea with humility, and you received it with humility. Both are the work of the Lord, if I understood the homily correctly - and it seems that both are blessed.