I’ve been preaching for four Sundays now. Reading from a manuscript. Sunday was the first Sunday I had the nerve to do the communion liturgy and benediction extemporaneously. I bet it was the shortest communion extrapolation ever! I’ve been frustrated with how slow a process it is. I came home late in the afternoon after having lunch with the students and something prompted me to reach for The Legend of Bagger Vance among the collection of our DVD’s. It was a God thing. I needed it. And God knew it.
“Inside each and every one of us is one true authentic swing. Something that we were born with. Something that’s ours and ours alone. Something that can’t be taught to you or learned. Something that got to be remembered. Over time the world can rob us of that swing. It can be buried inside us in the woulda, coulda, shoulda’s. Some people forget what their swing was like.”
“You know I can’t quit.”
” I know. Just making sure you know it too.”
“Look at his practice swing. Almost as if he’s searching for something. And then he finds it. He settles himself right in the middle of it. Feel that focus. He’s got a lot of shots he can choose from….But there’s only one shot that’s his. Authentic shot. And that shot is going to choose him. There’s a perfect shot out there trying to find each and every one of us. What we got to do is get ourselves out of it’s way and let it choose us.”
“Yes, you can. But you ain’t alone. I’m right here with you. I’ve been here all along. Now play the game. Your game. The one that only you was meant to play. The one that was given to you when you come into this world. You ready? Take your stance. Strike that ball. Don’t hold nothing back. Give it everything. Now’s the time. Let yourself remember. Remember your swing.”
It was like my own personal pep talk. I need to be me. I need to trust my own voice. I need to be centered on God and all that comes with it. It reminds me of the old Siler’s Bald song Getting Back. With the lines like, “I crawl, I run, as you wait for me//With open arms, there you stand//take my heart in your hands//I’m going to keep my eyes on you//I pray this life you’ll see me through.”
So there’s progress. I was able to do the chinese balls with my right hand. I wasn’t able to do that a month ago, so I dreaded it when my occupational therapist placed them before me. But I was pleasantly surprised that I could do it!
It still terrifies me to stand in the pulpit. But I know I’m not alone. May my nervousness draw me closer to God. This is my prayer.
Thanks for all of yours! I walk this journey with all of you by my side and a great cloud of witnesses looking on.
8 thoughts on “Getting Back”
Narcie, You are amazing! We want you to know that we walk this walk with you. We share in your ups and downs. Praise The Lord, God is with us, always! And you will have many more God moments! Keep positive thoughts…. You are doing wonderfully. Prayers continue!!
Wow! Narcie! You are totally awesome! Thinking of you and keeping you in our prayers. Thank you for the inspiration you send my way, you could not even imagine! Many blessings to you and yours.
May God continue to be near. May you continue to hear His voice.
It takes guts to do liturgy, especially communion liturgy, extemporaneously. Sometimes its a blessing though, and God just takes over and speaks through the liturgist… I am sure you rocked!
We love you at Wesley Memorial in Columbia. You and your family continue to be in our prayers. I can’t think of a better person to be a role model for our youth!
I’m so happy you are doing so well! Keep on keepin’ on, my friend. Proud of you for having the guts to do the liturgy and benediction extemporaneously. You go, girl!
I don’t know if you remember me by name, but I am one of your colleagues from South Carolina Annual Conference; we served together in the Rock Hill District last year. Congratulations about being back in the pulpit!
I was very touched by your blog, not only because of what that movie (which I’ve never seen) has done for you, but because your quotes from it gave me some insights that I needed for myself.at this time. Thank you for sharing those with us.
I’m glad you are making good progress, and wanted to tell you of a book that might be helpful. It is by a woman who had a stroke. I realize this is not tumor surgery, but I think many of her experiences with her own re-hab might apply to your situation, although her progress was slower than yours. It is called “My Stroke of Insight” by Dr.Jill Taylor. She was on the faculty at Harvard University when she had the stroke, and her background in neuro-anatomy allows her to explain a lot about healing the brain. She makes it very clear and understandable. She also goes into the spiritual gains she derived from her experience.
Much love and support continues to come your way from South Carolina. My 34 year old son was diagnosed last fall with an epidermoid tumor on his brain stem, and will eventually be having surgery (probably repeated surgeries) for it. That has given me a special interest in your experience. And I felt a lot of compassion and empathy for your dad when he spoke about you in front of the Annual Conference last month.
Thanks be to God for leading you on the path to re-gaining access to your ”swing.”
Don’t bother to respond to this, I know you are very busy now, but I just wanted to congratulate you, to let you know how helpful your blog was, and to tell you about that book.
Rev. Lois Helms
continued blessings as you find your authentic swing again. 🙂