Archive for March 2017

Wait for It

March 1, 2017

Ordination services are a special time. They are something people wait for for a long time. Ordination services are a point to which people struggle to make it. Ordination services often hold years of strain, burden, joy, and anticipation. In the end, much like a wedding, they are a giant release for those involved. I have only been to a few ordination services. Some for people I do not know very well. Some for those whom I dearly love. But all of them have held these elements in one sense or another.

This past weekend, I attended – and took part in – the ordination service for one of my best friends I have ever had – Rachel. It was a complete joy to be there, from beginning to end. Throughout the whole weekend, we congregated, broke bread, and celebrated – in both the liturgical and communal sense. And boy did we cry, too.

There is something about these instances┬áthat bring such a release of emotion. First, we had a core group of friends coming together. Many of us had not seen each other in months – some for years. Secondly, we did not sleep much at all. From traveling into town to staying up late every night, we arrived and left Jacksonville exhausted. Finally, we were coming together with the specific purpose of ordaining Rachel into her first call – something which she’s been waiting for for 3 years.

I remember sitting at her parents’ house, talking with another dear friend of mine, trying to explain the emotions of the weekend. The best I could come up with was the example of the Grinch’s heart.

grinch-heart

Now it is not like any of us former seminary students had a small heart to begin with, but our hearts exploded that day. We wait so long for these moments. From the beginning of our education together to this moment of our friend being ordained, we waited almost 7 years. Every step in the journey, every moment where something happened, combined to this moment of incredible anticipation. Our hearts collectively grew three sizes this past Sunday afternoon. In our entire group, there was not a dry eye when Rachel was declared a Minister of the Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

We wait so long for these moments. There are ups and downs, twists and turns. Some of the people we knew from seminary have died. Some of them left after just a few months of school. Some of them have left the church. And all of these things build into this massive ball of emotion – whether we realize it or not – that sits in our chest, waiting for a release. And ordination services provide that release. Our emotions come pouring forward and we are provided with a (very often) long overdue flood of emotions.

We wait for it. We wait for it in desperation. We wait for it in anticipation. We wait for it as if the day will never come. We wait for it, hoping the day will never end when it comes. We wait for each other and with each other, praying the entire time. We wait for it to be our turn. We wait for our friends’ turns. We wait for God to call us. We wait for calls/jobs to say, “Yes. You.” We wait for it.