Tools of the trade

Daily Cup, or Finance Committee? Those seem to be my choices for the morning, at least for the early part of it.  It seems like a straight-up choice for a priest, doesn’t it? The Daily Cup, after all, is read by thousands of you, provides food for the soul to get through the day. The Finance committee is, well, finance. The choices pose a dichotomy with which we are all too familiar: Spirit or mammon. Soul or The World.

And yet, the truth is not so simple. The work that the Finance Committee does gives us the resources to do the work of God. Without funds, we could not feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, sustain our choirs, put gas in our cars to visit the sick. The money is not outside the realm of the holy; it is a tool to be used in the service of God.

And not only in church. We often think that we go out the doors of the church into “the world,” but there is no “world” which is not shot through with the grace of God. We err, I think, when we carve up our lives into sacred and secular, holy and ordinary. The work each of us does each day is our chance to care for this earth God has given us and for the people in it, whether we are  a public servant developing a policy to lift people out of poverty or a waitress who remembers to smile at a weary man. The instruments of the surgeon are as holy as those of the altar; both are means of giving life.

Ultimately, that is what it is about: giving life, for that is what Christ calls us to do. Long ago, a kitchen-monk named Brother Lawrence wrote, “It is enough for me to pick up but a straw from the ground for the love of God.” He meant that there is no task too menial to be performed with great love. The love is what makes it holy.

And so, this morning, Daily Cup and Finance Committee. And then there’s a hospice visit to fit in, and the dogs seem to be urging me to play. One is waving a stuffed monkey, and the other a small rubber globe. Those are tools of love, too — and, in God’s world, there is room for all of them.

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2 Responses to Tools of the trade

  1. Elizabeth Fisher says:

    A beautiful, lyrical post, Deborah! Thank you so much, and may God abundantly bless your work and all his other works– finance committees, visits to the sick, and yes– stuffed monkeys.

  2. Noell Sottile says:

    Amen and Alleluia! –Noell

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