The bell tone of wisdom cut through my muddle the other day.
I have been trained to see things. I began my paycheck life as a life guard, moved to serving near every kind of food ever imagined in near every kind of establishment imagined, became a mother of three, and then entered parish ministry. I approach each Sunday with a kind of life guard’s vigilance: I want to be sure that things are calm and safe and well tended.
So I see things like people interactions and set-up seemliness. When things are amiss, I want to see that they are not amiss.
We have half an hour between services. That half hour is spent shaking hands and greeting people and getting reset for another service in another space and it is often a chaotic time.
I noticed in my trekking that the coffee urn was empty (again!) and that while there was a full one in the kitchen, no one had made the switch. So I did (again!). I carried the empty to the kitchen and hefted the full and steamed into positioning it on its stand in the narthex and a fine soul standing near the coffee said this:
“You didn’t have to do that! All you had to do was tap someone on the shoulder and ask for help, and we would happily help.”
Her words were like a ringing bell. Gosh, a person could ask for help!
Rather than trying to do it all, a person could ask for help and indeed that is what life and gospel life at that is all about: being willing to know limitations and the great good of leaning into the power of community.
Tonight is Maundy Thursday. We’ll gather for worship to hear the telling of how it is Jesus knelt at the feet of his beloveds and tended them and how it is we are called to do likewise.
Some say that Jesus came to know this power of tending through the ways he felt the good of his own feet being annointed by Mary.
And so it is. We feed, we tend, we bless. And sometimes we are reminded that mutual tending is the dance of our faith. Asking for help is sign of knowledge of our limits and trust in our community.
It’s the Way.