Monday, June 06, 2016

chasuble selfie

It's the rare occasion that I take a selfie. For one thing, while some people can't walk and chew gum at the same time. I can't "pose" and take a picture simultaneously. The results are never ready for publication, and isn't that the alpha and omega of a selfie? To share it with the world?  So if I take a selfie, chances are good there's some significance behind it.

Yesterday morning I was vesting for my first service with my new church. To the day, five years since I donned a chasuble as part of an official, ongoing, intentional relationship with a community of God's faithful. The familiar weight of the garment on my shoulders caused me to search out a mirror to be sure it was sitting squarely in alignment with the rest of the priestly attire, and not threatening to slide toward one shoulder resulting in an off-kilter look--the satin lining of many chasuble contributes to this risk. This is where the "J" of my Meyers-Briggs type kicks in.  Because, you know, it would be unseemly for a vestment to suggest a "come hither" look.

Once my attire was literally squared away, I paused for a full look in the mirror. I was struck by the image that looked back at me. It was right. Or to borrow from some liturgical language, it was "meet and right." Oh so right. 

It is no small thing to say or claim that. My road to and along this priestly vocation has been overloaded with slings and arrows not of the ilk of outrageous fortune. Where there have been difficulties and injustices I have been beyond fortunate to have the support of individuals who not only believed in me but advocated for me. On other occasions I was wrapped in the compassionate embrace of solidarity when suitable recourse was not possible. I stood before the mirror, vested in ancient, holy garb, because the communion of saints made it possible to do so. In accordance with the will of God, of course. ;) 

It was a kairos moment, one of those occasions that transcend the boundaries of ordinary and temporal time and awareness, and the depth of my gratitude permeated my being. I am not one of those people who subscribes to the belief that everything happens for some fateful reason, but I DO stand firmly in my conviction that in every moment and circumstance God is present to assist in the discernment of choices and the transformation of what was into what will be. Some would say I am meant to be here. I believe that I am here because the divinely inspired and companioned inner journey helped me to avail myself of opportunities I chose to explore and pursue.

In that kairos moment, the desire to document it as a placeholder of this new chapter in my life led me to retrieve my phone and attempt to get this photo. I WILL thank the almighty that a usable image was the result. These days such a feat falls outside of the available tools in my priestly kit.


Anvilcloud said...

While I'm not sure I get the logistics of the photo, you look so happy to be where you are doing what you're doing.

The Bug said...

That's a great selfie! And it looks exactly right.

I had to laugh at your "J" - my "P" means that almost every Sunday, someone is straightening my choir robe :)

Carolina Linthead said...

I love this so much!

Jayne said...

The joy and "rightness' of this photo makes my heart so happy. You are exactly where you are supposed to be right now in this moment, and how special that you got to share that feeling of certainty with the rest of us. XOXO

Ginger said...

Having had those moments of "this is where I'm meant to be for now," I can resonate with your sense of peace and well-being. I don't know you yet, but will enjoy getting to know you through the Comeback Bliggers.

KGMom said...

I so appreciate your observation that "I am not one of those people who subscribes to the belief that everything happens for some fateful reason, but I DO stand firmly in my conviction that in every moment and circumstance God is present to assist ... "
So often, I hear people say--when something awful has occurred but they have "survived"--"God was good to us." You know--when the tornado hits your neighbor's house but not yours kind of thing.
It is refreshing to read your observation.

I also like the "J" in you checking your vestments. Too funny. This year, I am the moderator for the presbytery in which I live. I commissioned a new stole (the old was was disgusting and ratty) which has half of the PCUSA symbol on the left side, and half on the right. The J in me is ALWAYS looking to make sure the halves are properly aligned.

Anyway--you look fine in your vestments.

Im Downtown said...

What a terrific picture - your smile says it all!


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