Friday, January 13, 2006

The little chapel

I took this shot of the chapel at the Church of Open Arms on the evening of Epiphany. I love this little-old chapel. It's Florida carpenter Gothic, with beautiful stained-glass windows and creaky wooden pews and floors.

The Epiphany service was beautiful, complete with incense-swinging Magi. It helped lift me out of my malaise. O, Gaspar, Melchior and Balthazaar!

A lady I've been bringing Communion to for the past year and a half died Monday. I went to a service for her yesterday. It's sad to lose her, but it was her time and she was ready to go. She was elderly, crippled with arthritis and other problems. I think she'd really been ready the past few months, since her health took the last big hit. I feel like our Savior/Healer has delivered her from her distress, and she's now where she wants to be.

The down side of being involved in pastoral care ministry is that most of its recipients are elderly and pretty much all are in poor health, so you deal with a lot of death. But the more I see, the more I realize how much a release death can be, when it comes at the right time.

I'm a volunteer chaplain at the local hospital, and there I see it come at what seems the "wrong" time, all too often. There's no comfort for the parents of a stillborn baby, or a woman who loses her still-youthful husband after routine surgery. Those cases I can only offer up to God and know they're dealt with through divine wisdom, beyond my understanding.

So anyway, we've had beautiful weather the past week -- clear, with highs in the 70s and 80s, after a cold snap that made Christmas seem more like Christmas.

It's supposed to turn cold again, with a freeze tomorrow night. Yikes! It's a panic around here when it freezes. All the ferneries, major agriculture in Central Florida, have to try and protect their fragile crops. The water lines from my well freeze up if it stays below freezing for long.

The weather forecast said we might get some nasty wind tonight, as the cold front passes through. I'd better go batten down the hatches.

Blessings to you all. Stay warm.

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