This Week at Trinity, Beamsville
Friday, August 6, 2021
This week I’ve been thinking often about interviews: not so much the job-seeking kind but the long and sustained, story-telling kind; the please-give-me-a-window-into-your-life-and-heart kind, where we give precious space for another to be heard, in their own words. I’ve been thinking about what an increasingly powerful space that can be, in a time of sound bites and short attention. I’ve been wondering how we can all slow ourselves down long enough to listen, to who and what really need to be heard.
All that wondering is traceable to two places: a couch and a pew. The couch is in our living room, where I happened to be for two different interviews with one incredible athlete. The first interview was immediately after a heart-breaking finish, just breaths away from a so-called podium finish. She was struggling to fill her lungs let alone find the words to summarize, but she pressed on with extraordinary courage and poise. Those traits were still in play about 24 hours later, when that same but now showered, rested athlete offered a follow-up interview, fielding everything about life and love to her next steps professionally.
There was so much to respect and admire in that woman. From her articulate composure (both times) to her mature reflection (both times), she modelled a way of perceiving and proceeding. I haven’t a clue what her faith tradition is, but I know there’s plenty for me to glean from her choice to say thank you, for people and moments. She did so, not despite but amid wrestling with hard realities, from the past week, year, and far longer.
Enter the second place of wondering, thinking, and sacred witnessing. It was the front pew, lectern side, in our beloved sanctuary at Trinity; and it was from there I had the privilege of leading an interview with 3 extraordinary women representing 2 generations of the Burton family. It was a time I’ll treasure forever, and not just for the gift of hearing their voices (and their laughter!) in that space again. There is always something quite sustaining and reorienting in listening to another’s wise reflection, in learning from each other, in perceiving and proceeding; but that all feels so heightened now. It feels like one of the most crucial parts of our rebuilding and reintegrating into life together. It feels like something I could do all day.
When it comes to this Sunday and the video we’ll show, you need to know it’s just part of something bigger, spiritually and literally. Our time together was wonderful but, as expected and cherished, far longer than we would offer in a ‘usual’ Sunday service duration. Here’s where we landed instead: a dual release. Through the magic of YouTube, you can catch the Sunday service edition, and then go back and watch the interview in its unedited entirety. There are stories you don’t want to miss, and moments you’ll want to see more than once. All along, you’ll notice a theme, and I imagine you’ll hear some awe in my voice. Somehow, it all leads back to the same place: remembering to give thanks to God, and choosing to press on, with God. Thank you, so very much, Pauline, Dorothy, and Donna, for leading us all back there…right where we all need to be.
With love to you all,
“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” (G.K. Chesterton, ‘A Short History of England’, 1917)