Well, my name isn’t Dorothy and I don’t live in Kansas, but I’m beginning to understand Dorothy’s journey along the Yellow Brick Road even more than I ever have before.
As I approach Dec. 30th and my final Sunday with you as a pastor, I find myself reflecting almost constantly on how much I will miss you and how incredible our time together has been. As most of you know, I never expected to leave this church or St. Louis, so for the road to turn a different way has been nothing short of a surprise I didn’t see coming!
As I’ve tried to process the myriad of emotions I have about this every single day, I have found my thoughts wandering to Dorothy and the Lion and Scarecrow and Tin Man. They were all, in their own way, disoriented and invested in a particular story about their lives. Dorothy thought she would never get back home. The Lion was convinced that he would always be a coward. The Tin Man was sure he would never have a heart again and the Scarecrow was certain he could never have a brain. Each of them were convinced that these things about them were true and that there was no other truth.
I suspect that you are like me . . . it is easy to become invested in our stories, so much so, that we forget God may have more parts of the story that we don’t yet know. As I’ve discerned my call to Church of the Trinity MCC in Sarasota, FL, I’ve had to be reminded that though my story about being at this church until I retire is true, it is also true that there was something new making its way into my story that I did not see coming.
The characters in the Wizard of OZ found parts of life that they didn’t see coming and all of it added to their stories in beautiful ways. When I think about it . . . I have to acknowledge that my coming to MCCGSL became a part of my story that I didn’t see coming then . . . so really, I shouldn’t be surprised that there is another turn in the road now that I didn’t know was coming.
To all of you, I say thanks . . . for giving me a home, deepening my heart, challenging my brain and strengthening my courage. I am so much better for having been here with you and every single thing you have given me will live in my soul wherever I am. You are cherished and loved and above all else . . . you, too, will be granted a new part of the story that you never saw coming and it will be more beautiful than you can imagine. May it be so!