today i set off to work with the sun at my back. the rays of light warming my neck, knowing that the light that surrounds me is filling me up as i move into the morning. dropping my son at school, i set off to Westminster Canterbury where i serve as a chaplain part-time.

with me, my finger rosary. i pray for those with whom i offer care, presence, and support.  i pray for those who are hurting.  those who are healed.  those who come to mind and those for whom i’ve worn the ring for. prayers that span over a decade are said again and again, each time i place the ring on my finger. 

prayer is such a wonderful part of ministry. prayer takes place in many spaces here: at bedsides, in services, and walking through the halls.  with this practice, so much more can be held.

meeting a retired Episcopal priest, long-time presence in the pastoral care of Westminster Canterbury, i heard a few jokes and discovered he was praying for me this week. he was happy to meet me, and eager to discover if i could feel his prayers. indeed!

during the day i attended a weekly communion service, receiving communion from a local episcopal priest. she is well loved and appreciated.  new to the position, i continued meeting folks following the service. lingering outside the chapel, i benefited from snipits of stories. happy faces. and warm greetings.

following worship, i visited with folks whose stories and lives shine forth with depth and love. whether these have stories that include pain or loss, in these moments they are filled with deep appreciation and gratitude for their place in life, their love for family and friends, and for the health they do have.

during one visit i was asked if i could tell a good joke. i promised to return with a joke worth telling, then he could tell me if i was a good joke teller. after listening to his request, i was able to see him light up as he talked about his family. his family is everything.  they are the world to him.  we prayed together, hand in hand, and the presence of love surrounded us in the room. you could feel the love he carries for his family being carried by God to them in that moment.  love was present and warm and wonderful.

other residents shared stories and memories. my cup was full, and it was time to pick up my son from school.

after picking up my first grader, we went to the playground behind the school where he could run and play soccer. i returned to the light to find myself soaking in the final rays from the sun.  those rays were bringing warmth and gratitude into my heart’s center. i felt in that moment that i am exactly where i’m meant to be in that moment.

i am an artist, mother, and minister, called to create, showing up for the ministry of this beautiful interim work. i am making plans for bereavement groups and retreats to come. i am present to my beautiful boy and love of my life. i am also tired at times! forever learning the balance of eating whole foods, moving my body, loving well, and savoring each moment.

from the playground we went to aikido where my boy achieved his orange belt.  we went home in celebration, and i made a healthy meal for our family ((which takes greater effort with the new chaplain position in the mix)). then, listening to the new rhythms of my body, i turned in early for bed, even falling asleep before finishing my wisdom card for my blog, called to create.

Suzanne Vinson is a chaplain at Westminster Canterbury in Richmond, Virginia. Read more of her blogs, reverendartistmother or calledtocreate or see her art work.