Tuesday, January 10, 2012

And God Smiles

Sometimes God seems to divinely beam on my day. This has been one of those. I'm pretty sure I've heard a hearty chuckle, too. Ahhhhhhhh! I've been redeemed and life is good.

I had my eval meeting this morning with my District Superintendent. I like him. He's a good man and a great DS. He's seen it all I'm sure, as he's been in the ministry a mighty long time and was called out of retirement to fill this DS-ship until the end of June. The last time he saw me was just last Thursday at a district meeting. I would love to say I made a jack-donkey out of myself at that meeting, but I don't want to be responsible for an uprising of jack-donkeys feeling the sting of that slap. When I say "he's seen it all," I mean it. This is the write-up of that "historical" meeting.

Being the penitent preacher that I am, after I wrote that in an effort to say to other melanoma people, "hey, this stuff happens and it will be OK," I emailed my DS. I sent him the link to that post with my deepest apologies for my behavior. All of that happened Thursday.

I never heard a word from him. Today's Tuesday. Do the math; that's a long time to be left dangling from a hook while looking forward to today's previously scheduled private meeting. I didn't know what kind of reception to expect. I went ready to take my lumps. I had them coming. Plus, I knew he wouldn't spend our entire 30 minute meeting dishing out those lumps. I had stuff I had to discuss with him and he had stuff he had to discuss with me. After all, it was an evaluation meeting. I figured after my outburst last week, he had a lot to evaluate!

And God smiled. So did my DS.I received a gracious, warm welcome. And it was for real. He asked how I was and I told him today was a good day so far. That was the closest we came to discussing anything that could be perceived to be related to last Thursday.  Because I was 15 minutes early and we started early, what was slated to be a 30 minute meeting lasted almost 45 minutes. And it was a fabulous meeting. I went with an issue and hoped for at least one good, doable idea that would bear fruit. I left with two and see great potential in each.

We laughed. We talked. We got serious and discussed and planned. He didn't hold anything against me. Whatever he ever thought, he had let it go. Genuinely. I experienced undeserved, unmerited, unearned grace. And I felt God beaming and I saw His eyes in my DS's.

God and I had a great drive home and I've felt like I've been basking in His glow all day. That's an amazing feeling.

All this to say, even our worst moments can be redeemed, forgiven, moved past, let go, and be touched by grace. We can come to expect that from God. We neither usually expect or often experience it from others. And, how often do we extend it? Yet, we all have those horrible moments that need a touch from Grace.

Grace changes everyone and everything touched by it.

God smiles.

The DS smiles.

I'm positively giddy.

And I sure am grateful.

(I posted this on Facebook, but I want to share it here too: In the course of our conversation, he told me of a recent meeting with another colleague and the colleague tells him this true story: He has a woman in his congregation, three weeks away from her 100th birthday. He goes to see her and she tells him, "I'm almost 100 years old. All my family and friends have died. I'm the last one and if I don't hurry up and die soon, they're going to all think I've gone to hell!")