I'm in Kansas City at the present. It feels far away in many, many ways. But I've spent so much time here over the course of the past 40 years or so that it also feels like home. It's real mixture of things for me, especially at the present time.
I preached at the funeral of my friend Bill on Thursday. It was the most natural thing in the world to do that - it was also one of the hardest things I've done. I didn't know that Bill had left instructions for me to preach, but right after he died I was sitting at home, thinking about the years we had shared and about who were were to each other, and I all of a sudden thought: "this sounds like a sermon". The next day I got an email from Gail, the rector of St Michael's (their parish - and, if I ever have to identify a parish as "mine", St Michael's is always the one I choose) wrote and asked if I would preach. Loss. Reunion. Joy. Sorry. It's quite an adventure.
And my wrist beads keep me in touch with my spiritual life. I really know now why I wear them. I am completely out of my routine, and it would be so easy just to do what is in front of me and let the whole spiritual practice thing go. But the constant pressure of the beads on my wrist keep bringing me back. And even I am surprised at how I just naturally reach for the beads whenever there is no activity or conversation going on around me. Last night I had a good hour and a half to say the Jesus Prayer while friends watched TV. It was really good to be drawn back to who I really am.
And how about that KU-K State basketball game last night!