It weathered four years of seminary and 5 years of ministry (including all-night on-call chaplain shifts.) It was stuffed in countless suitcases, overhead compartments, trunks and closets. It had been through the washer and dryer many times.
In short, it was not pristine. But it was a raincoat. And on this cold, blustery day, I needed it!
I started the day at a peaceful gathering of clergy and laity counter-protesting the crazy hate group that carries signs and proclaims judgment on the world.* We stood in the rain and mist, umbrellas and smiles everywhere. We laughed. We had coffee with the local police who showed up en masse. We offered each other encouragement. We were a loving, laughing presence of about 30 people, diverse in age, race, gender, and religion, while 4 angry white people stood with signs in front of a local high school.
After the protest, we all headed out our separate ways. I started with some paperwork at my office and then travelled around seeing patients and families and other clients.
I met up with one client at a local coffee shop. But I left this well-traveled coat behind! By the time I realized my mistake, I was headed to another appointment and, while frustrated, decided to hope it would be waiting for me when I looped back around.
It was not to be. No one had turned in a lost coat, according to the barista. I sighed, wrapped my colorful scarf around my neck and went on my way.
Grumble, mumble, grumble, snarl… Yeah, I felt pretty stupid. Fortunately my favorite gloves and cell phone were NOT left stuffed in the pockets as is my usual habit.
As I drove to my next appointment, I saw a figure, huddled over a grocery cart, with the hood of her coat pulled up over her head, her shoulders hunched, and looking very cold. And she was… wearing what looked like my coat!
Was it? Maybe. Maybe not.
With a sigh, I stopped at a discount department store and bought a raincoat. Not that fancy or expensive, but one that served my needs. I thanked God that I could afford to go get a new one when I left my old one behind for… someone who really needed it.
I write this from my warm home, an afghan on my shoulders and a cat competing for proper attention. I am indeed blessed.
* About that hate group? You know who they are. They hate a lot of things. And I won’t give them any press in my writing. It’s time they went away!!