The Expected Unexpected

Earlier this year, I was all excited about life-trellises, or rules of life. I was excited because life was finally getting manageable; I had two jobs (church and this here Pilgrimage) and they were both finally fitting into the appropriate number of activities for the appropriate number of hours and people were still being cared for, and writing was still happening, and it was so dang satisfying. I did an entire sermon series and an Online Spiritual Conversation Group about rules of life.

One of the things I added to my rule of life was to blog once a week on Friday mornings, and I got off to a decent start once I set myself to it. But then something happened–I don’t remember what–and I missed a week, and then COVID-19 came to town. Suddenly I had a whole host of things to think about, write about, and process, and less than zero time to do any of it, because everybody’s world was upended and in my case, it’s one thing to lead a ministry that’s primarily online to begin with, but something entirely different to take an embodied ministry and move it online, too.

The novel coronavirus had been in the news for quite a while before it got here, but it kind of smacked like a tidal wave and we’re all still tumbling about in it, so now that Easter is over, I’m taking this week off to regroup. Partly because my trellis got completely destroyed in the wave and I’m realizing I need to see if I can at least makeshift another one in order to try to lead the church better in this new mode, and stop short-changing the Pilgrimage as I have been doing. And partly because after preaching a stirring (?) sermon about the resurrection and about being people of it on Sunday, we had to bring my dog for his final visit to the vet on Monday. I knew that was coming, too, and as Oscar has in some ways been my heart for the last eleven years, I knew it would be horrible, but the level of grief is still not what I was expecting, and I’m grateful for this week to begin to process, without having to worry about anything else.

You can read about him and see some photos on Facebook if you want. I wasn’t planning to blog about him or his death at all; but I process even these things theologically (as I am sobbing my eyes out intermittently) and I’ve been having some Thoughts that it might be healing and otherwise worth mulling over here this week and going forward maybe. Plus, the best way to get back to blogging is to start. Thanks for the motivation, Oscar. I love you.


Published by Jennwith2ns

Jesus person. Wife and step-mom. Daughter, sister, auntie, friend. Collector of stories: mine, yours, tangible, not... Pastor of Central Baptist Church, founder and spiritual director at The Pilgrimage, and author of Trees In The Pavement and Favored One.

5 thoughts on “The Expected Unexpected

  1. So sorry to hear about Oscar. I hope he’s in a good place now.

    On a lighter note: did you know that ‘expect the unexpected’ is mentioned on page 7023 of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? (my blog post of 25May2020* refers).

    *Yes, it’s in the future. Towel Day. Go figure 🙂

  2. Sorry to hear about Oscar. This is a truly tough transition. We will be facing this soon with our senior pup, Bossley. Love and prayers!

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