Sometimes life in ministry can be tough ... but every so often a little something happens that gives me a 'lift', that encourages me. I was blessed with three such little lifts this week:
1. Emerging from behind the (illusion of) privacy curtain at someone's hospital bed late at night, I found a nurse standing nearby. She looked at me in my cassock & clerical collar and smiled.
'It's good to see a priest looking like that, looking like a ....' she paused, considering.
'A priest?' I suggested.
'That's right. Looking like a priest. It sends out the right message ...'
2. I was visiting a parishioner 'up the mountains.' One of his neighbours was there when I arrived, a very devout Catholic. In the middle of our fairly mundane conversation the neighbour stood up, bowed his head, and humbly asked I give him a blessing ...
3. I was contacted by a young woman looking to be baptised. When I asked her what had led her to that decision, she said she had heard me preaching at a baptism recently & what she had heard had decided her that it was something that she needed to do (well they did tell us in the seminary that baptisms are great pastoral opportunities!). The next day she began her baptismal preparations ...