14 October 2006

Clairvoyant Clergy: A brief rant

For some reason, every few months, my congregation conducts a highly un-scientific experiment to determine whether I am, in fact, not clairvoyant. Generally these experiments occur randomly, and I don't think they ever occur consciously, but I have noticed that they also seem to be scheduled for times of absence i.e. vacation, maternity leave, emergency care from a serious motor vehicle accident...
Today, I found out almost completely by accident and almost entirely by my own initiative ("almost" because I assume the Spirit is at work in this...) that a member of my congregation is in the hospital and has been there since Tuesday and that he is dying and that a group of 20 women in a Bible study knew about this Wednesday, including my mother-in-law, and though five (5!!) people called the prayer chain captain to tell her about it, everyone -- said mother-in-law, said prayer chain captain, the three elders sitting in the bible study -- all just assumed someone else would let April know. How does one explain that to a grieving wife and children? "Uhhh....yeah... I know that everyone else knew this and that you've been getting card and calls for the last four days and that an elder has been to visit, but I didn't know about it..."
Also at this time, one of our guys has suffered a stroke, another fell, a woman has had surgery and another has had a heart attack. Five people in various hospitals all over northern Illinois. Guess who didn't know these things either?
And it's not as though we don't have a system/ systems in place. It's just that by mass unspoken agreement, the decision is made not to use the systems, and -- voila! Ignorant pastor and congregation wondering why April isn't showing up.
Ugh. So tomorrow I get to give the semi-annual, "I cannot read minds" lecture, wherein I'll remind folks that I'd rather hear something 35 times than not at all. And I will try to make up for the absence of the last few days with presence in the next, while giving stern talks to my elders who, for goodness' sake, should know better.
And I'll start preparing for the next experiment which I assume will occur during the next maternity leave. Apparently, the fact that I always fail the clairvoyance test is not a deterrent.
Though, God knows, I wish it was.


Dawn C said...

You know April, if you'd just adjust the type of tea you drink you might find the ability to read minds - animal minds even - is suddenly available unto you. ;)

April said...

You know, Dawn, I hadn't realized it was the tea! All this time and I could have been communicating with the yappy dog next door...hmph.

Dawn C said...

It used to be the brownies, but it's all in the tea these days. :)

Hey April, I'm thinking of a number between 1 & 10...what is it?? ;)

Dawn C said...

PS The number I was thinking of was 14. What? Not between 1 & 10?!

Well, yeah, I guess there ARE a few side effects. :D