Friday, April 10, 2009

remember me

-Presiding over the Table at communion for the first time. There was something so surreal about saying, "Take, eat, remember, celebrate." As the elements were passed out to the congregation I stood there in my robe and stole, hands rested on the Table, and thought, "Wow. I'm a minister." It was certainly a holy moment--and a funny one. People do communion a bit differently here, and so after serving the congregation, the elders sat in the first pews and waited for me to come to them and serve them. After a split-second hesitation on my part, the clerk of session (a warm and welcoming man) gave me the slightest "come here" motion of his finger where no one else could see. I really appreciated it.

-A life lived to the absolute fullest: Erin, an eleven-year-old girl from my home church who battled cancer since she was five, gently died yesterday morning. Erin was one of those remarkable people who fill you with wonder when you're around them. I ran into Erin at Mo Ranch this summer and she was healthy then, with a tan on her face, making a mosaic with other campers. I had gone up to say hello because I used to be a counselor there, and then I recognized Erin. She looked up and said, "Hey! Don't you go to my church?" I said that I did and that I was so happy to see her again. I visited Erin right before flying to Belfast in September (the same day, I think) when she was in the hospital for chemo again. Her room was decorated with pictures, paintings and cards and she just sat propped up in her bed coloring away, as content as a child drawing outside on a sunny day, and yet she was in the hospital. What a joyful, radiant life she lived. I won't forget her.


Lynn said...

Hi Whitney -

Happy Easter. We all miss you at EPC, but glad you are doing so well at your new church. Isn't it interesting the different traditions that churches have?

Your young friend Erin had a remarkable spirit.

M.K. said...

Children really are so resilient in the face of illness, even death. I thought pediatrics in the hospital would be the most depressing experience ever but in reality, it's a very hopeful one.