Monday, May 11, 2009

The Last Time I Saw the Bishop

First, let me say that I won't blog much here about the serious work that my church's Synod Assembly did. If you want to read my blog posts about the sexuality statements that we passed, you can to my theology blog here (for the short report) or here (for the longer report). You can go here if you want the official website of the Synod, and here for the official blog (go here for a specific blog about the vote on the sexuality statements and other first day events).

I spent the Synod Assembly watching the Bishop of our Synod officiating, and thinking of the last time that I saw him in person. It was after Hurricane Wilma, in 2005.

I was part of a different church then, one which sustained heavy damage. I pulled out all the waterlogged carpeting from the sanctuary. I was almost done when I noticed two men come in the door.

They must have been dressed in casual clothes, because I asked, "Are you the carpet guys?"

The assistant puffed up a little and said, "This is the bishop."

Oops. Like I said, I'm fairly sure they were dressed in casual clothes. If the bishop had come wearing his purple shirt and his impressive cross, I'd have known he wasn't the carpet guy.

Somewhere there's a picture of me, dirty and wet, shaking hands with the Bishop.

The Bishop looked at our damage, took notes, and left us with a case of bottled water and some tarps.

At the time, I remember wishing for a bit more help with the physical labor, as I went back to ripping up carpet and hauling it to the curb.

But later, I got a great poem out of it. I won't post the whole thing, since it hasn't been published elsewhere, but here's a taste:

Strange Communions

Jesus showed up at our church to help
with hurricane clean up.
“The Bishop was so busy,” he explained.
“But I had some time on my hands,
so I loaded the truck with tarps and water,
and came on down. What can I do?”

“Our roof needs a miracle,” I said.
“Do you know a good roofer?”

“I used to be a carpenter.
Of course, that’s getting to be a long time ago.
Let me see what I can do.”


I know how I would end this poem--where would you go from here?


Shefali Shah Choksi said...

How about with a warning about a Flood that's to come with the next hurricane?
better use carpentering to build a submarine (arks are so passe) than a roof that's not going to last.
How about hubris in the very existence of a roof, a puny structure that tries to shut us off, claim to SHELTER us from the heavens?

Kristin said...

Well, I like your ideas better than the ones I came up with--let's both write a poem (I'll write a new one!) and compare!