Thursday, March 24, 2016

Maundy Thursday Musings

--Today is Maundy Thursday, and it's also the anniversary of the assassination of Archbishop Romero.  More on that juxtaposition here.

--Maundy Thursday, that old term, derives its name from the Latin mandatum, which means commandment--it comes from the passage in John 13, where Jesus gives the commandment to love each other.

--I have been worried that my sense of compassion is slipping away, as I deal with students who come to complain that they weren't given time to finish their assignments, even though the final deadline hasn't yet come.  I have told people that they need to utilize their time and then if they still have a complaint to come to me.  I have been rather stern and unsmiling when I say this to some students who seemed uncommonly stubborn in their resistance to doing work.

--I remind myself of the readings for earlier days of Holy Week, the one in particular where Jesus throws the moneychangers out of the temple.  I'm sure he seemed stern and unsmiling too.

--And of course, if students come next week to complain, I will be gone.  I am in desperate need of retreat time.

--Mepkin Abbey wrote to the participants for next week's writing workshop with Kathleen Norris.  I felt such a whooshing sense of relief when I got that e-mail.

--I am touched by how many people have wished me well during my retreat time.  Why does graciousness and good will always surprise me a bit?

--The events of this week, both personal and global, have showed me how rare it can be to find graciousness and good will.  A week full of angry students makes me even more grateful for drops of kindness.

--But let me also remember the non-angry students, the quiet ones who needed help here and there.  Let me remember my colleagues and the surprise Tuesday of an extra ticket offered to me, an evening at the Parker Playhouse with Vanessa Williams and Seth Rutdetsky, a treat that it would not have occurred to me to give myself.

--Let me also remember the non-school moments of grace, the wine and cheese shared with friends, the discussion of alternative careers.  I am leading a retreat in April, both Bible study and a workshop on spiritual journaling.  My psychologist friend said that she'd love to be able to refer her patients to me so that I could help them with "bibliotherapy."

--We also talked about how one person in a family needs to have a steady income to enable the alternative careers.  It's hard for me to see how I could have my full-time job, my adjunct teaching, and a patient list for bibliotherapy.  But I did want to record this nugget, in case my full-time job vanishes.

--Writing this also reminds me of my stepmom-in-law who asked, "When are you going to go to seminary so that you can be a pastor?"

--What will today bring?  I head off to work to get everything done before I'm gone for almost 2 weeks.  But I'm also going on a field trip to the Rubell Family Collection.  I will end the day at church.  Our Maundy Thursday service includes a meal--I'm so happy for one less thing to think about.

--That service will also include our first use of the prayer loom (more on that here and here).  I look forward to seeing how it will work.

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