I know the Lectionary is fixed major league, big time, and I know that the Music Director at St. Spike's has his music sorted out well in advance.
But sometimes it seems like someone has psychically intuited my needs-of-the-moment and picked things out just for me.
I hauled myself over to St. Spike's this morning. I felt worse than I did yesterday because I had big trouble getting to sleep last night - up past two because I didn't feel well. I woke up at eight-ten and managed to get myself showered, dressed, caffienated, and muffined before my eight-forty-five appointment, after which I got back in my car (having grabbed my prayer book beforehand) and barreled on down for 10 am service. Not bad for Anemia Girl. Go me.
S. was there as I walked slowly up the steps to the south narthex and gave me a big hug. We chatted some and I went on inside to find my seat. I sat next to L., who I had worked with on Altar Guild until the big schedule rearrangement (interestingly, my name was in the bulletin today as being on AG ... must remind C. to send the office the Updated Schedule).
The first thing I checked in the bulletin was "who's doing healing station today". One of the things I'd gotten out of my early morning therapy appointment was that it was ok to pray about whether I should go up or not. I had also previously determined that I didn't have to stand when I usually stood (as it happened, I sat down for the offertory hymn and decided to adopt the Episcopal Butt-Perch for the Eucharistic Prayer, but otherwise my energy pretty much held out).
We sang "Precious Lord" as our sequence hymn, which was a very moving musical experience; not only did it "foreshadow" the Gospel, it was Quite Right for my mood.
But at some point, I think during the communion (I was in the back, so had time to contemplate this), I started crying; I was running through the "do I or don't I?" and thinking "I'm sick, I'm hurt, and I'm scared" and "how do I articulate what is going on without TMI or whining?", all the while the echoes of the song and sermon and Peter's Big Panic were bouncing around my tiny brain. Are you swimming with me, Jesus? (With a hat tip and so much more to the fabulous LutheranChik.
And shortly after I felt L's hand, ever so gently, on my shoulder.
Shortly after that, the hand went down, and when I was ready, I reached over and squeezed L's hand.
Then I excused myself to go up and have Fr. Owen lay his hands on me.
As I left the healing station and headed in the direction of the rail, the deacon was coming down the chancel steps to see about communing those of us left at the healing station. When she saw me I got the impression of gears engaging very briefly - almost, but not quite, a "what are *you* doing at the healing station, missy" sort of look.
I normally receive with eyes downcast, but I looked her full on (again, this wasn't a challenging-type thing) as I held up my hands.
I went back to my seat and tried singing the communion hymn, but found myself unable to. Still working through, I guess. I appreciated the music, though. I'm generally impressed with how well the congregation can carry a tune.
L. stopped me briefly at coffee hour, which I wasn't expecting (as it was her AG day). She said "if you don't want to talk" but I was able to talk. She had thought it was about my mother (I put Mom on the long-term prayer list). After she went back to the sacristry, I was able to move around (slowly) and apply my social talents (sparingly).
I'm not out of the woods physically by any means. But I am a lot calmer. Non-anonymity has its price, but it also comes with benefits.