On my morning walks I like to slip down from the church to Kerry Park to see what’s happening in the world. My vision casts from the resources in our hilltop community to the Sound, and the construction happening downtown. I watch, hoping to see the Victoria Clipper cruising gracefully toward Victoria (BTW, I feel a road trip should be coming to a church near you soon!). I listen to the tourists as they walk up to the railing and take picture after picture of the historic view, made all the better when Mt. Washington is boasting that it is the older child in this neck of the woods.
I also look for connections to fellowship, worship, and meditation points, and am surprised to see my focus shifts, not to the majestic view, or the bustling cityscape, but to the graceful, and oft overlooked swallows, who dive and swoop and chatter as they collect bug after tasty bug plucked out of the air with such masterful ease.
“Barn Swallows” love Kerry Park. The freshly mowed slope is a great place to witness their Spirit-like acrobatics. They aren’t as impressive as the Violent Green Swallows whose feathers change chameleon-like as the light varies though the shadows, but they are impressive in their skill in the air.
Their focus is much different than the tourists that tend only to see themselves and the city in their “selfies.” The graceful swallows dressed in brown and jet black focus on the fleeting insects so intently you’d think they might crash into the trees, rocks and tourists, but somehow, they never lose their spatial- awareness/spatial-perception/spatial-intelligence, and have much to teach us about the ability to shift from the macro to the micro.
This is, of course, what makes Interim Ministry such a challenge and joy. I get to shift from the local congregational functions to the wider church activities. I get to look with fresh eyes as things where congregants, like tourist lock their vision on what they expect to see, hear, touch and taste. It falls to us, as Interim Pastors to help people see, hear, and otherwise experience the holy in the ordinary.
Your prayers for our ministry are needed.
Peace in Christ,
Interim Pastor Neil W. Allen
Pastor Neil Allen
I am blessed to serve as the pastor of Queen Anne Christian Church, an amazing community of wise and thoughtful people.