“I have a message for you. You deserve the best.
Don’t settle for anything less.”
Something weird happened to me in church today. I usually greet Pastor after the service but I was talking with someone so I hugged him when he walked by. I said, “It’s nice to see you.” He placed his hand firmly on my shoulder, looked me square in the eye and said, “I have a message for you.” I said, “Okay.” He continued, “You deserve the best. Don’t settle for anything less.” I said, “Okay…” And he turned and walked away. (???) I know God was speaking through him but I’m not sure why.
I asked Diane later why everyone was crying today and she said, “Because Pastor has liver cancer.” I said, “I know. But he had cancer last week too.” And he’ll have it next week as well. She said folks are realizing the mortality of the pastor, a mortality I’m well aware involves family for them. I feel no emotional attachment to the issue. I guess it could be considered rude. I feel it is a calling.
I joined the choir of this church in February, maybe March. God told me to and I listened. I wasn’t sure why. I’m not particularly fond of the music, though it’s beautiful, and the closeness of the people frightens me. But I know I am supposed to be there and I like it. I am learning to love hymns and to socialize with people. There’s something I haven’t told them. I don’t understand it fully but I know why I’m here.
The pastor is going to die. Maybe 10 years from now, maybe tomorrow. But he is. I felt it my first day there and it hasn’t gone away. By nature in new situations I look for a system, a pattern of operation. I want to know how things work and where I fit in. I need to know the rules, the standard operations, where they keep the toilet paper and which row I’m supposed to sit in. I look for areas of need and devise systems to improve them. Here my ideas aren’t warmly welcomed. I realize I’m on someone else’s turf and I need to back down. But I’m here for a reason.
When Diane got in her car accident there were angels with her. And they were in the church when she returned, and they were with the pastor. A heavy presence centers the ground, prepares it for his message. He glows gold. He knows he is dying. I know that we all are. I feel a purpose for me in this transition but I’m not sure that it’s welcome. When I look around, I see areas of change, things that can be improved. I have ideas. They are not ready yet. I am careful not to mention my ideas much. They are seen as an intrusion on established customs. They do it their way. If this were DBSA, I’d be -. I hate -. -‘s always wantin’ to change things. I like them my way. But sometimes her way is better. In this case, it doesn’t matter whose way things get done as long as they get done.
My mom says I’m cold for caring more about the logistics than the emotions of the people. Yes. I guess I’m cold. It doesn’t mean I don’t care. I care deeply for these people. Deeply enough to fight for growth and change, to pick up where some upset person left off, to continue the business of a church when its people are in mourning. The pastor is going to die. I don’t feel sad about that. I feel a little joy. This man who is so close to God will get to meet Him. And what a lovely meeting it will be. My soul smiles when I think of it.
I know I don’t have the normal social reactions most people do. I think God blessed me with my coldness for a reason. I just want to help. I don’t process things the way others do. It is a blessing and a curse. One of my providers thinks I have Asperger’s (high functioning autism). At first I was totally against the idea. Change. Fucking change. But the more I look into it, I agree. I need to talk it over with my other providers. In this situation it allows me to be functional with a lack of emotion, but I can’t understand what’s going on because it’s not happening to me. I don’t think like that. I plan. I live by systems and order. I expect tragedy. I live.
All this to say, God spoke to me through the pastor today and I’m not sure what it means. But I’m pretty sure it’s important. God bless the queen.
© Michelle Routhieaux 2013