Blessed by strangers

Last year, I tacked a communion onto the end of the non eucharistic Christmas Day family service.  It was really for my benefit, that year I wasn’t on the rota to do a midnight mass, I had a shocking cold so did the sensible thing and stayed at home so that I would have the energy for the morning service. It didn’t dawn on me that I would miss out on communion until I got there.  To my relief two people in the congregation said they wanted communion and stayed behind at the end of the service.  That day I was truly blessed by two strangers who having received communion then asked me if they could pray for me and it was lovely.  Two complete strangers had recognised how exhausted I was and then prayed in the most beautiful way making me realise that I was indeed a child of God.  Before I could thank them they had disappeared.  It was one of those Emmaus moments.

This year at midnight mass I must have found the right words to invite people who didn’t want to receive communion to come up to the rail for a blessing.  usually it surprises me just how many stay firmly rooted at the pew and it saddens me because for once I do have something that I can give people. This year, there was a church full of visitors and I think I must have laid hands on about a quarter of the people who came up to the rail including one elderly gentleman. At the end of the service as I stood at the door he shook my hand and said that in his 88 years of church going he had never been to a service with a lady vicar. “Oh, ” I said “and did it feel OK?”  Lovely he says. Lovely!  Just the words I needed. I refuse to feel despondent now about the few who rang the churchwarden to check I wasn’t doing midnight and then excluded themselves from God’s love because I am the wrong type of priest. 

I’ll let the strangers bless me.

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One Response to Blessed by strangers

  1. Liz says:

    Glorious. You are in good company being blessed by strangers for who else ministered to our Lord? May it be more than enough love to keep you going.

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