Last official morning in my oasis. The place that held me when it all fell apart. It gave me space to listen, to pray, to put the pieces back together and live again. It has grown and changed with me through every trial and joyful experience that came from healing and growth.
I practiced my first in-person sermon out here. I practiced day and night bc I was so nervous. This space didn’t mind my overkill. The universe even gave me an example to set the scene for my sermon. Setting the scene was what I was critiqued on the most in my preaching class.
The scene: My frankincense and myrrh candle 🕯 I had lit to inspire me broke while I was stressing out about how to begin this sermon. My sermon was on the Woman who anointed Jesus in Mark 14. This is the story that followed me all throughout my seminary career. I began to freak out about this candle that broke bc wax was spilling everywhere, but then I stopped for a sec and realized it was illuminating the jar the woman broke in the story to pour perfume all over Jesus’ head. It was setting the scene for me! I thought my candle was being wasted, but it was helping me.
Yes, scientifically we can explain why the candle broke. But those are just facts. What about the timing and how it broke? Who says science doesn’t work with faith? Madeleine L’Engle used science in the stories she told. Science expands our understanding of God—Doesn’t eliminate it.
The candle was not wasted. I used the example it gave me in my sermon and kept the jar for a long time as a reminder of the great faith of this unnamed woman we are supposed to remember every time the gospel is preached. The smell lived on a long time even without the candle.
Look, a remnant of that candle still remains on the pergola table.
Nothing is ever wasted!
Love is never wasted. People may not understand love at first. It seems wasteful and unfamiliar and sometimes threatening. Jesus understands it. Jesus honors it. Love is generous right back. That is demonstrated in that story. Praise be to God.
Final reflection from the pergola. Love is growing. Not ending.