Someone asked me a few days after being back in the office following my sabbatical’s end, “How does it feel – being back?”
I responded, “It’s like slipping on an old glove.”
And that’s the truth…I started back on September 1. The staff at HTLC welcomed me with a table laden with good foods, warm smiles, eager requests to hear my stories, and joy that I had truly missed. For my part, I brought gifts that I hoped would convey my gratitude and affection for each of them and a desire to jump into the ongoing, never ending treadmill that is the church.
I was pleased to discover that it took me a moment to remember some of my computer passwords, where on the shelf some of my go-to resources are, and where I kept little things like stamps. I guess that means I really did disconnect while on sabbatical…Yay!
Some of my first emails and phone calls were to say “thank you” to those who helped out over the summer – guest preachers, volunteers who kept the website going, etc. Of course, I wanted to connect with some of the people whose loved one’s died while I was away. I’m still going through the stack of mail that greeted me. And there are final reports about sabbatical that need to be written.
But it really is nice to slip back into the routine of asking about and hearing the ups and downs of people’s lives, praying for those in need, reading and studying God’s word, and preparing to offer words of grace and hope when I stand before the congregation on Sunday mornings – or in conversation – or at hospital beds.
Like an old glove that I don to tend to my yard and home, the glove that God has called me to wear as I tend this precious garden – God’s people growing strong and beautiful – I fit. I fit into that glove and I know my usefulness and purpose.
It’s good to be back. My thanks, and thanks again, to all who made this Journey a wonderful one. The gloves are…on. And I’m ready to work.