Sometimes it is the small encounters that allow for us to see God at work in the world and in our own lives.

Even more important than the worship services that I participated in Holy Week, on Good Friday were the five pastoral encounters of the day. Only one of them was scheduled and half happened inside "consecrated space." As for the others...

blog heather lazarus-4.jpgWhile getting coffee after the early morning service, I got to chat with one of our Lazarus ministry regular guests who is faithful, resourceful, and also homeless. Now walking with a cane and not in Medicaid, he is relying on ibuprofen for pain relief. We also talked about getting ready for Easter and the circle of people and congregations who help him. Ibuprofen -- it is such a small thing, something that I take for granted, and now I am thinking about adding another package that onto my shopping list so I can make sure he has enough to keep him going and moving.

Towards the end of the day and just before the start of our children's Good Friday Stations of the Cross, I was outside in cassock waiting for any latecomers. After a quick chat with the manager of the Irish pub around the corner from the church (lots of cod served for lunch on Good Friday!), a woman walking past asked if I was offering prayer. Sure! I started praying with her, then she grabbed her young adult daughter's hand to pull her into the prayer as well. So we prayed for healing, God's guidance, and in thanksgiving for sneaky moms and good relationships between mothers and daughters -- right there on the sidewalk next to the Ross.

As thankful as I am for the opportunity to participate in and lead worship on Good Friday, I am more thankful for these off-the-cuff opportunities to listen to and serve the people of God in the midst of life and all its busy-ness. And while I don't suggest that you (or me) regularly wear a black cassock in order to connect with people, I know of others who have had good God-sharing conversations with others as part of the response to wearing a "Love Wins" pin or a cross or similar sign on their faith. 

As we start our Easter walk together, may you look for and see the Risen Christ all around you, in so many people and situations, and invite and engage with those who are seeking to share and receive a Good Word.