By Clint Wilson
I miss the silence of the church before anyone has arrived,
I miss the altar guild faithfully serving in unseen ways,
I miss the embrace of so many, touches serving as pastoral promissory notes,
I miss the handshakes that express in more English manner the same sentiment.
I miss the child who awaits my high five; or is it I who await?
I miss the excitement of the newcomer, and the stability of the old-timer.
I miss the parishioner who treats my ear like an endless cavern.
I miss beholding the eyes that signal the need for a call or card.
I miss visiting hearth and hospital.
I miss the fervent prayers of old ladies, and our young acolytes.
I miss those who sit in the same spot—the sacred is found in rhythms and place.
I miss processing amidst the people; the psalms chanted by choir.
I miss the Gospel born again into our midst,
Lord, may your Word be ever on our minds, on our lips, and in our hearts.
I miss preaching, even if my people do not.
I miss kneeling and standing, and the moments our idiosyncrasies dissolve and we flow like (baptismal) water together.
I miss the crotchety comments…I expect them and love their heralds.
I miss the organ.
I miss the Great Amen resounding through the Nave, and the squeal of children.
I miss the sound of coffee brewing, waiting to be consumed,
I miss our people, consuming, and being consumed, and thus, becoming what we are:
the Body of Christ.
Fr. Clint Wilson is rector of St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church in Louisville, KY.