Nomination, Perhaps Postulancy

Posted June 7, 2017 @ 11:58am | by Tripp

Once upon a time, as the sun shone across the dewy grass, a child’s heart broke. These things happen, mind you. There’s nothing exceptional about heartbreak, per se. That’s what they are designed to do. The faulty heart is the hardened heart incapable of being broken. An unbreakable heart is exceptional...and dangerous. But, where was I? Right, a child, the sun, and dewy grass. 

The child was walking through the grass noticing how they left tracks behind them and that the toes of their shoes were gradually getting soaked. Even their socks were getting cold and wet. 

Distracted by this revelation for a moment, the child forgot their errand. “While the sun rises and the grass is still damp,” they remembered. Those were the instructions. While the grass is still damp. “Isn’t it amazing how the sun dries the grass like it does,” the child mused. “How cool.”

Walking across the lawn was necessary if they were going to complete the errand, but the lawn itself became an enormous distraction. Sometimes the journey itself distracts us from the goal ahead. Sometimes it feed us along the way. Sometimes, like on this dewy morning, it does both things at once. 

That’s what these last several months have felt like. I am gloriously distracted from the goal set before me. 

I have been nominated by All Souls Episcopal Parish in Berkeley, CA to apply for postulancy in the Episcopal Diocese of California. Change and no change is afoot in my life. It’s an interesting journey to be certain. It is on one hand entirely familiar and on the other, well, not so much. The Episcopal Church is not the American Baptist Churches though the Venn diagram overlap is significant. Progressive, ecumenically minded, historically rooted in the English Reformation and the related colonization of the North American continent, they have many of the same gifts and challenges. They are denominational kin. 

I served as an ordained minister in the American Baptist Churches for a decade. On the eleventh anniversary of my ordination, I was confirmed in the Episcopal Church, finishing the sacramental work of my baptism as an infant in 1970 at St. James the Less in Ashland, VA.

The lines of ecclesial association are tangled and, as such, a beautiful ongoing distraction. 

There are meetings and (all too familiar) paperwork. There are suspicions and questions, brooding gatekeepers, and gracious ushers beckoning me to enter. There are open arms and curious gazes. There are tears and there is laughter. 

There is confusion, speculation, and general befuddlement. It’s like getting my feet wet all over again in that old lawn. I can smell the summer heat beginning to rise. 

I feel a sense of urgency.

There’s something I need to do. A goal, a work, a task has been set before me. And, yet, there is dew on the grass and the sun is bright. I can feel the warmth of its glow on the back of my neck as I look down to look at my damp shoes. Soon the sun will be high enough in the sky to evaporate all of this moisture and I have a task to complete while the sun rises and the grass is still damp. 

But first, let me just look at these tracks one last time. 

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