I should have known that today would be a different sort of day when my morning coffee was served by a man with a name tag reading, “Jesus.”
It so happens that this is one of those calendar days where I know exactly where I twenty-five years ago. Today, the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, is the anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood. About this time twenty-five years ago I was on my way to John+ and Pam Bentley’s home for a pre-ordination dinner with the people I loved the most.
This morning, after getting delayed by a train on the way, I met a dear friend, who was present on that day, for breakfast. She greeted me wearing a red jacket, in honor of my ordination (red was the ordination color back in the olden days).
As I went to fill my cup of coffee, the man named Jesus came to refresh the urn, and it gave me great pause. My coffee was served today by Jesus as the sun rose outside Rao’s Bakery.
The day that has followed has been the most quotidian of days. What else should it be?
I knitted my daily prayer. My friend and I prayed Facebook Live morning prayers from our breakfast table. I stopped at the rectory to drop off some tiles and talked to the men who are rebuilding my home a second time in less than a year. I let the workers know I was praying for them everyday.
I sent financial documents to the diocese in order to be considered for a new curate next summer; I emailed another set of back up documents for a request for a Harvey flood grant from the diocese. I worked on finding a new Parish Administrator for St. Mary’s. I visited the bank to update paperwork for St. Mary’s accounts.
My lunch appointment had to be rescheduled because my friend had the flu. My appointment with my spiritual directee was rescheduled because it slipped off her calendar. I’m meeting tonight with a couple whose unborn baby has died.
I had a good chat with my mom. Sadly, she isn’t coming to the celebration of my ordination on Sunday at St. Mary’s. I’ve been thinking a lot about her and my dad, who died several years ago, because they were such an important part of my ordination journey; I’ll miss her on Sunday.
It’s been the most ordinary of days. Things planned. Things unplanned. Praying all the way and all the day.
That’s what it means to serve as a priest. Each day of twenty-five years.