I am sure most people have had the experience of feeling immediately connected to someone and it was that way with Liz and me. While she had moved to Victoria not long after we met, we kept in touch through Facebook; as an insomniac, Liz would often be on-line when I got up and we would chat back and forth about a variety of things. When she came to the East Coast as part of her trip to promote her latest cookbook, we managed to squeeze in lunch.
Last month, I spent a Study Week with her in Victoria. Hint, don’t try and cross the country in the middle of winter! Along with reading part of the Truth and Reconciliation Report (it’s 586 pages!) in preparation for focusing on our relationship with First Nations people during Lent, the trip was to spend some time with her as she had been diagnosed with ALS last June.
i proposed the visit with a bit of trepidation, Liz and I haven’t known each other for very long, in fact a few days after I came back, through the magic of Facebook memories, I realized that we had only known each other for three years. But that niggling sense that I should invite myself wouldn’t go away and I have come to realize that nudging is God trying to tell me something. I also knew that the ALS was progressing fast and I wanted to go at a time when we could both enjoy my visit.
My trepidation gave way very quickly as we talked that first morning. Our conversations over the five days included the mundane and the mysterious. We shared tears and laughter and wine… well, two of those things anyway; I’ll let you try and figure out which two!
It’s been a long time since I spent that much time in spiritual conversations with someone who isn’t a church goer. Let’s face it, as an ordained minister, I spend most of my time with church people, whether I should or not is a topic for another blog post. Her questions caused me to dig deep and articulate my faith in a way that I have not done for years. She defines herself as a ‘seeking agnostic.’ She was raised RC, but left church and God a number of years ago, for a variety of good reasons. Check out this blog post about her evolving faith. Stick around and read the rest of her blog too! She is engaging, insightful and funny! I received as much during that visit. The image of the ACC chaplain that has been visiting her and I having a smackdown for her soul makes me smile every time I think about it!
Friendships and faith defy time and space and that’s my window on God’s world.