Well, it's official - I'm no longer "Almost Reverend" ... "the reverend is in the house!" I was ordained along with two other amazing gentlemen, Tim Grayson and Dion Thompson, at the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Baltimore today.
What an amazing service! It was classic Anglican "smells, bells and yells" - and an awesome site it was. Our daughters were torchbearers and our oldest got to ring the sanctus bell during the prayer of consecration. They handled the incense during the Gospel procession like old pros, even though it was their first exposure "up close and personal" to the smoke.
It really struck me how much our daughters prepared me for this day. Not just from their support and patience as I sweated out the many exegetical papers and the dreaded General Ordination Exams. It was more than that. It was the reality that being a parent taught me the meaning of being a "servant to all." Parenthood taught me to put myself aside for the sake and welfare of another. It hasn't been easy and I can't say I've always been "super mom" who suppresses all her identity for the sake of her children (and I'm not sure that's healthy anyway). But there is something in learning how to move at a different rhythm when your life revolves around having a baby, then a toddler, then a pre-schooler, then an elementary schooler, and now (for our oldest) a middle-schooler.
It's learning to be present rather than rushing to whatever comes next. It's learning that now is the most real and precious thing God gives us. It's getting outside my own head to give myself to something outside myself and not knowing quite how it will all turn out, but placing my trust in God that it will turn out ok.
I learned this from our children and I'll be a better deacon (and eventually priest) for it.