It's hard to believe that a year has passed.
But it has, in fact. One year ago today, I was ordained a deacon. It's been an astonishing trip around the sun since then, as a friend used to put it in congratulating us on other anniversaries of equal import.
In my first weeks after ordination, I had the chance to baptize a beautiful baby girl;a few scant months later, I had to perform last rites at a roadside accident. I was the deacon at the wedding of two dear friends, and the memorial service of another.
Birth, death, marriage.
That I get to do all this at St Barts means a great deal to me; bypath started here, at one of the lowest ebbs of my life, and I returned as life took a decidedly upward turn. The people and clergy of my home parish have welcomed me, worked with me, and have made me their deacon, along with my great mentor and friend, our senior deacon, who, I am glad to say, abides with me.
You might wonder why not a picture of the service, or of me actually doing one of the wonderful, and occasionally terrible, things ministry involves? How about a sermon clip? Why Cohen's Anthem? Because it says something that is to me deeply true, that informs every single moment of my ministry:
You can add up the parts but you won’t have the sumWe're all of us flawed, all of us imperfect. But, accepted and owned, those perfections can be openings to grace in all of its forms. We can accept our own flaws, and those of others. We can take action, but not self-righteously. Every little crack in us can be a way of letting the light through. Forgive each other, because we need forgiveness ourselves.
You can strike up the march, there is no drum
Every heart, every heart to love will come
but like a refugee.
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
You don't need a lick of religious faith to believe that--though it's a part of the Gospel message. But theist, atheist, agnostic--is there anyone in this tatters, cracked, and still imperishably beautiful world who does not believe that "Every heart, every heart to love will come--but like a refugee"?