A very good friend of mine shared this Mary Oliver quote with me not too long ago:
to live in this world
you must be able
to do three things
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go
On the first Sunday of Epiphany, we all received Epiphany Star Gifts. They are paper stars of different colors with a word written on each of them. No two are alike.
All of the stars were faced down and I asked that each of us take one, flip it over and receive the gift of our individual word by reflecting on it all year long.
Some told me what word they received and some did not. Many said their word was so appropriate for what was going on in their life and others were confused by how their word would become to a gift to them.
I also chose an Epiphany Star Gift. After everyone had gone home and I was the last person in the office. I traced my fingers over the colored paper stars and chose a yellow star. I chose yellow because it is the color that my mother loved to see on me.
I had hand written all of the stars myself so I was casual about my choice. I did not expect to be surprised by the word on the other side. My Epiphany Star Gift is “Acceptance”.
I’m pretty sure my eyes rolled to the back of my head and I said out loud, “Somebody has got a wicked sense of humor!”
“Acceptance”. The word I needed most to reflect on over the next couple of weeks as my time with St. Luke was quickly drawing to a close.
“Acceptance”. The very thing I was struggling with on so many complex emotional levels.
“Acceptance”. The kind of word and surrender I know I must let loose inside me but that which I tend to fight and wrestle with well after the lights go down.
So, this Sunday, January 25th, is my last Sunday in the pulpit and in worship with St. Luke. These past six months have felt like a lifetime because together, we have given and received so much from each other and my heart is so full it is uncomfortable.
The community here makes it so hard for me to accept leaving. But I am hopeful that we have given and received what we need from one another for the next part of our journeys.
St. Luke is full of amazing individuals who shine with their own Christ light. Together, their light can chase away the darkest night.
I “heart” St. Luke Presbyterian Church.