In the mid 2000’s I was reentering the United Methodist Church. I wanted to be a delegate to the Western New York Annual Conference. I was told by my pastor that we already had a delegate and I did not know about Equalization Members. I still went as a guest (out of pocket) and sat with our Associate Pastor who had to be present, but was a member of another Annual Conference. We laughed about our mutual feeling of uselessness. I was still at the table. We talked about human sexuality. I prayed a lot because I had neither voice nor vote. I prayed and felt helpless in light of a people who each sought God’s will in their own way.
In 2017, I was an elder. I really wanted the vote to go my way. I was bent over in prayer while everyone else was praying. I prayed and felt helpless in light of a people who each sought God’s will in their own way, including me.The vote didn’t go my way. I sighed, looked up, and smiled at the guy in front of me. He was on the opposite side. We had nothing in common but for the fact that we were both bowing down in prayer while everyone else stood and sung.
We talked about my kids. We talked about their squabbling. We talked about their love for each other when anyone else said or did anything to hurt their sister. We talked about how families fight like nobody else, but they are still family. We walked away as friends. No, we walked away as family. I told him the names of my children and he smiled. He will be praying for them. He will be praying for me. I will be praying for him.
Today is today. Tomorrow the sun will rise. Fear not. We are still family.