The high this morning in Minnesota in wind chill temps was minus 33. The low was minus 54. We were somewhere between there depending if you were in a relatively sheltered area in town or out on the unprotected prairie. It's cold! And the fierce wind blows the snow up over the driveways so you can't get out, and onto roads reducing visibility to nothng or polishing pavement into glass that can make cars into sudden spinning tops. So faced with all of this, plans are often changed on short notice. Thus it was that CT, today's celebrant who lives a ways in the country was forced to stay home and I found myself, at 9 a.m called upon to preach. I'd mentioned to M yesterday, as we drove home from a Diocesan meeting on our own sometimes interesting journey through intermittent whiteouts, that "in the event" this happened, I had the Lent 1 reflection from the feminist blog I could fall back on as a sermon without too much alteration. So she and I celebrated together, as we are doing every chance we get these days, I preached, and we ended up with a hearty band of fifteen souls who braved it to be fed on word, sacrament and spirit. We'd decided last night already to cancel the kick-off for our Lenten MDG Soup and Story Gathering based on the grim forecast. Had we known how hardy the fifteen souls would be we might have gone for it, but the soup bringer was one of the weather bound, so maybe it was just as well.
L was with us again today. That was a good thing. I am praying even harder than usual for him right now. He met with his probation officer for the first time on Friday. He asked me to be there. It was all I could not to simply sit and weep. There are so many many implications of his situation. I'm not sure how much of this he was told, or grasped, or got. I'm not sure I have a very clear picture of it all yet. The mind boggles. He is sad and discouraged. Wanting to give up, feeling that there is no end to this long tunnel he finds himself in. It does feel like a catch-22 in many ways, like somehow justice got missed here. His PO says it does not matter now, what's done is done....it doesn't mattter if you are innocent or guilty, the probation has begun....no point being angry, just do what is expected, pay the fines, don't get in trouble, tell me your plans, don't go anywhere without permission, do what you are told by the CH staff and the therapists and doctors. It took about an hour after he left to see any light at all back in L's eyes. He is trying so hard, and running up against people who are less than helpful at every turn. Last week it was his son's mother, this week the PO, the week before that his own mother. And yet, today he showed up for church on the coldest Sunday of the month, smiling that smile. And tomorrow he has a job interview at 3:00 at the taco place. Such a Godsign he is for me, his hope, his trust that it will get better.Pray hard?