He looked at me with eyes the size of saucers.
“J says your daughter is going to be seven,” he said. Incredulous. Solemn. Amazed.
K is a seminary classmate. If he ever met Zoe, she was teeny tiny. What he remembers, I’m sure, is me pregnant with Zoe during my last year of seminary. And all of a sudden, years have gone by. We can measure them by counting all the Zoe birthdays that have passed since then. Which is, amazingly, seven.
Zoe was born two months before I was ordained, so I can count the years of my pastoring as I count the years of her life. Being a pastor and being a parent are all tangled up for me, in a way that is wonderful and weird and hard.
Zoe knows that Wednesday nights are almost always nights I won’t be able to put her to bed. She knows what cancer is. She knows that many of the people she’s visited with me have died not too much later. She knows that our move to Saint James (a town she now loves) had something to do with me being a pastor, and she wonders when we’ll have to move again. (Pro Tip: You’re stuck with us for quite a while, Saint James.)
But Zoe also knows that God takes care of us when we live and when we die. She knows how to talk to people of all ages. She excels at nursing home visitation. She knows how to dip her fingers in a baptismal font–any baptismal font, in any church–trace the sign of the cross on your forehead, and say, “You belong to God.” She reminds us to pray before we eat in restaurants. She is a joyful child of God.
I can’t believe my baby girl is seven years (and three days) old. I can’t believe I’ve been a pastor seven years (minus two months). When I consider the calling to which I’ve been called, and when I look at my Zoe–who is silly and sweet, brilliant and bold, loving and loud, and so much more–I am incredulous. Solemn. Amazed.
Above all, I am thankful.
What is making you incredulous / solemn / amazed / grateful these days?