Bedtime already. The day is long gone and I don’t have a clue as to where it went. The best laid plans. And in the blink of an eye the sun has set and I’m exhausted again. It was a busy day. I was booked back to back before my day had even officially begun. I realized, while missing lunch, as I was on my way to give a talk to new social workers about Judaism, how incomplete it is to have any one person represent an entire people. And while I waited in traffic my 45 minutes was ticking away. They were a group of a dozen or so: an orthodox Jew, an evangelical Christian, a Buddhist, several Protestants and one woman who said she was a not very observant Hindu. Excellent. So I told a lot of jokes, dropped the f-bomb a few times, described the beauty, power, and sanctity of a deathbed ritual, and told them not to take any one person’s word. I said, “why not ask the person you are encountering in whatever situation you find yourself in”? There is no right path to God and anyone who says there is only speaking for him or herself. I realized in that time, as I have many times over the years, why I became a chaplain and not a rabbi. I want to accompany people on their spiritual journey wherever they are for as long as they will allow me to be with them. I don’t want to teach anyone, as if I know better than they, anything about their own spiritual path. We laughed. We cried. We had way more in common than appeared at first glance.
And with that smug self satisfaction I went about the rest of my day. I was 7 minutes late to just about everything after that. Which helped me to calmly step off (as opposed to what I usually do which is tumble off) my self righteous soap box in order to humbly ask for help at the eyeglass store. I’d gone to this place before, a very posh store primarily outside my budget. So when I needed new glasses recently I went to the local inexpensive store – around the corner from my house and well within my wallet range. You get what you pay for – my Grandmother always said. And she was right. Four times back and they couldn’t get the glasses right. By the last visit there I was as aggravated with the salesman as he was with me. Anyway, the woman helping me today was exceptionally kind. She said, “That sounds hard. I’m sorry you had to deal with all of that.” And with that, she offered several ways they may be able to help me and told me she’ll call in a few days.
In other news: my first Creole class is tomorrow morning. I’m both excited and nervous. Right where I should be on my first day I suppose. Shehechianu – a blessing, a commemoration, gratitude, acknowledgement. Those are the moments that so easily slip by in those blinks. Those are the ones I need to remind myself to notice.