For Betty

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I was at the eye doctor yesterday, the fourth or fifth visit—I'm losing track—to try to re-fit my contact lenses so that I can see to drive and to read without "cheeters." Getting the right fit is an art as well as a science.

Anyway, I checked in and in the waiting room was a friend I hadn't seen for probably 7 or 8 years at least, Betty. Betty was an active member of my "home" church, the church that I first joined and that ultimately ordained me. I love Betty. She was an activist who cared deeply about the earth and about people. She was an artist who made the most wonderful dolls and other three dimensional art. . . .

When I joined the church and got involved my first foray into committeedom was the "Celebrations and Services" committee. They were, in essence the worship committee but mostly filled up the summer schedule with lay-led services and found speakers for the minister's sundays off. Betty was on that committee and we had lots of fun working together. We were also in a spirituality group together where we delved deeply into our understandings of who we are as faithful people and how we got to where we are.

Betty was on my ordination committee. One of her beautiful contributions to the event was the creation of the three dolls in the picture that were mounted on the side wall in the sanctuary. They were Ruth, Miriam, and Deborah, three revered women in the Hebrew Bible. The picture doesn't really do them justice. To say I was honored and delighted that she would do such a thing for me is an understatement.

When I saw Betty yesterday, she had a bit of trouble recognizing me though I could see in her eyes she knew who I was. The eyes betrayed her speech and her movements. Her eyes were beautiful with the spark they used to have but also with a look of hesitant struggle.

Betty had a stroke last November and is still working hard at recovery.

We move on in our lives, take new jobs, move to new places, hold on as best we can to close friends. As we move on we lose the connections with people we once felt connected to. It just happens. On rare or odd occasions, we cross paths with those people who were once a part of our lives and we re-connect, sometimes briefly, sometimes meaningfully. I hope to re-connect with Betty.

I said in another post somewhere the hebrew word for messenger, "malach" is also the word for angel. Angels and messengers are put into our lives often for reasons beyond our understanding. If we pay attention, it may come clear.