The forecast for the weather for the last two days has been ever changing. Yesterday I went to church with Warren at his sweet little church. Since it was not so rainy Russ and Carter stayed behind to do their own spiritual renewal.

Warren was the Deacon in charge for the day so I helped him open the windows of the little church and prop them up with wooden dowels as the grayness of the morning lifted. The building was built in the 1800’s and has boxes instead of pews with the straight backed, small bench type of seating that made early parishioners feel no comfort in earthly worship and made me wonder how church survived at all. I was greeted warmly by the forty to fifty people who made up the congregation for the day.

Warren told me the regular pastor was away, but that I would love the guest pastor. If there ever was an understatement it was that. Kate Braestrup, the pastor for the Maine Game wardens and a four time book author was the guest preacher. The service opened with a welcome and a call for announcements from the congregation. People stood up to announce flea market sales and a note about donuts. There was the masked singing of familiar hymns, and then Warren gave a moving prayer and asked for concerns and celebrations where the congregation parcipitated, including me asking for prayers for a friend’s child.

Then Kate stood for her sermon. She echoed the words of the Hymn There is a balm in Gilead as she brought the congregation to tears as she spoke about the women of Afghanistan. It was a heart wrenching talk about mother’s passing their girl babies through the barbed wire fences to the arms of awaiting soldiers who they hoped would take their daughter’s out of a country that was once again a dangerous place to be a girl. I quickly forgot how uncomfortable the slightly forward leaning back of the pew was as my body tried to hold back the wrenching sound that came with my tears. It was a powerful morning.

Warren and I drove back towards the coast as the sun was trying to break through and I felt the huge appreciation for the luck that I was born here and to the people I was born to. Sometimes it is hard to have that perspective.

I was sorry Carter had missed a chance to listen to Kate. She would have felt a kinship with her feminist point of view. But she and Russ had their own chance to commune with nature, one that gave them that rest from work to renew themselves. Maine seems to recenter us all in different ways.

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