Monday, June 27, 2005

intercessory prayer: not for delicate flowers

i forgot to post this last weekend but here's how my second day of deacon duties went:

rotarians descended on the city. did you know the rotary club began in chicago? i had no idea. neither did roomie as we left the apartment early to fulfill our church duties downtown. we skipped the actual services to drive down lake shore drive and michigan avenue, killing time.

when we blithely arrived at the stately gray church, we were prepared to speed through church tours, intercessory prayer and a little glad-handing. the presbyterians know how to really make you relaxed, you know? no baptist-like stress or angst here.

i sat in the stone chapel, waiting for someone to come in for prayer. everyone had told me, 'it's no problem; no one ever comes in.' oh! foolish hope! the final hymn had barely finished before a neatly dressed woman stepped inside and shut the door behind her. she sat next to me and whispered that her brother had recently died alone and unclaimed in another state.

and so i took a deep breath, held her hand and we prayed together.

when she left, i stayed behind and sobbed for five minutes. (bad time of year for me to be thinking about dead family members.)

my roomie was faring no better; her church tour was stalled at the transcept while a short asian woman grilled my roomie on the exact doctrinal tenets of our church and the specific wording of the apostles creed. i could see the sweat on my roomie's brow as she desperately tried to wrench back control of the tour group and direct their attention to the fine skinner pipe organ in our choir loft.

needless to say, we spent the rest of the afternoon huddled in our apartment shunning contact with our fellow man, watching taped episodes of british serial killer tv shows.


LutheranChik said...

That's an interesting concept...being available for one-on-one intercessory prayer. Being a newbie in training for lay ministry, I always like to hear about what other laypeople with diaconal responsibilities are doing.

ding said...

i have to admit that, when i was first approached to be a deacon, i was totally enthused about it. still am.

but it's emotionally wearing. you realize, quite suddenly, what a responsibility it is.

not like, say, communion clearing.