Last night a wonderful group of women gathered at a local pub for our monthly “Women, Wine and Worship” event. The conversation was focused on both our understanding of the Holy Spirit and sharing experiences of her movement in our own lives. It was great conversation and the thing I appreciated most was the tenderness with which people listened and shared their stories.
We live in a world which is often filled with sharp edges and fast paced deadlines. There is a rush to get things done and an abruptness that can so often take over. Last night for 90 minutes we sat over wine or tea and shared faithful stories of our lives. There was laughter, tears, deep feelings and tenderness. In a group of women with an age span of more than 40 years, it is quite the gift to spend time in each other's company and to recognize the presence of the Divine in each one.
This is an interesting time for me as each week draws me closer to my last day in Cole Harbour Woodside. It feels like both a poignant and tender time. I am so grateful for the amazing experiences of ministry in the place and as I clear out my book shelves and go through files I am finding mementos of so many experiences and beautiful cards filled with expressions of thanks for ministry offered. These fill my heart with tenderness.
I will cease to be the minister at CHWUC at the end of June but the memories and the blessings of this time will be part of my life forever. When I picked my word for today I immediately thought of the first verse of a hymn in More Voices #173
“Put peace into each other’s hands and like a treasure hold it,
Protect it like a candle flame, with tenderness enfold it.”
The last verse says,
“Reach out in friendship, stay with faith in touch with those around you.
Put peace into each other’s hands; the peace that sought and found you."
How blessed are we when friendship and faith come together and peace and tenderness mark our encounters. Such was my experience last night.