The many changing faces of a pastor/poet/musician...

A few recent pictures of myself have been forwarded of late that make me laugh out loud for they show the many changing faces of my calling as pastor, poet and musician in a small community. The first comes from Ben Garver who captured this shot at last night's St. Patrick's Day gig at Baba Louie's in Pittsfield - in full Scottish regalia... (The photographer writes:  "I really love this picture - it has a real rebel feel.") Um.... well, yes.

The second hails from our trip to Cambridge before the start of Lent.  I was one of the featured clergy opening worship with a story of how I heard the voice of the Lord in the back of a 1967 Ford Mustang via Aretha Franklyn. Noting that after spending much of the summer of 1968 listening for the voice of God in popular music - and experiencing a sense of call while worshiping at the Potter's House ministry of the Church of the Savior in Washington, DC, when Aretha sang, "You better think about what you're trying to do to me... oh freedom!" I sensed God confirming my call into a new ministry using the arts alongside prayer and action. 

At the conference where this picture was taken, I was able to use the songs, "For What Its Worth" and "Oh Freedom" as part of our call to worship.  Then, we jumped in our Subaru and headed off to Cambridge for four days away with my honey in our annual pre-Lenten pilgrimage of refreshment and renewal.

And then there is this one taken by Di while we were resting over a pot of tea.  Over our almost 20 years of being connected, she has taken countless pictures of me sipping tea - or beer - in various places around the world. (I, too, have started to reciprocate having renewed my interest in the camera!) This was towards the end of a long day of walking and exploring and we were both worn out. When those times come, Dianne and I like to sip hot tea in a public place and watch the people go by - offering comments and observations as the Spirit moves us - or just being silent. 

After about 40 minutes of doing this, we headed off to another night of live music and more wandering.  On Monday of this coming week we will head off - again - for an unplanned trip to Maryland to see my father and sister who have both been hospitalized - again.  My father, who will be 80 later this year, has never taken good care of himself and continues to fade slowly away.  And my sister... well, she hasn't been well in a long time, too, and we need to see her as she makes a slow recovery.

I find these words from John O'Donohue spot on:

What dreams did I create last night?
Where did my eyes linger today?
Where was I blind?
Where was I hurt without anyone noticing?
What did I learn today?
What did I read?
What new thoughts visited me?
What differences did I notice in those closest to me?
Whom did I neglect?
Where did I neglect myself?
What did I begin today that might endure?
How were my conversations?
What did I do today for the poor and the excluded?
Did I remember the dead today?
Where could I have exposed myself to the risk of something different?
Where did I allow myself to receive love?
With whom today did I feel most myself?
What reached me today?
How deep did it imprint?
Who saw me today?
What visitations had I from the past and from the future?
What did I avoid today?
From the evidence - why was I given this day?


Black Pete said…
I like the guy with his mouth wide open... :) That's gotta be a drinking song!
RJ said…
Yeah, me, too - way too much fun!
Luke said…
the rebel-kilt pic would make a good facebook profile pic. just say'n. it's kinda awesome.

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