I spent this past weekend at the Provincial Synod for the Ecclesiastical Province of Rupert’s Land. I tend to enjoy church meetings, because I see them as a celebration of the church in action.
This particular meeting was a bit of a new experience for me though!
As part of the planning team, I was in the background for most of the conference, doing a lot of admin stuff while missing out on most of the sessions. It also meant, however, that I had the privilege of speaking with every person at this event – whether briefly in the check-in process, or trying to help solve problems, provide directions to the dining hall, etc. I got to meet some fun and fabulous new people, I got to spend some time with people I’ve previously only chatted with online; I got to see some old friends from the past.
Of all of these, however, there is one connection that has struck me. It was simultaneously a new connection and a reconnection. A few years ago I had some medical challenges that left me with some gaps in my memory – so while my friend was looking forward to reconnecting with me at this event, I had no recollection of him. Awkward!
So, despite my having planned for just about any contingency at this conference, this was one I had not prepared for! And so it was with more than a few butterflies in my stomach that I engaged in conversation with my friend about it to clear the air. And it was good.
Throughout the weekend we shared some very honest conversations. I got to hear some of his memories of me over the years. He also spent some time reflecting on the past and then went out of his way to share with me his impressions. It was humbling and grace-filled and quite meaningful for me to hear. It’s profound to receive love from somewhere you didn’t even realise existed.
So even though we don’t share the same memories of the past, the connection is there. And we’ve started the process of re-connecting, and re-establishing our friendship. And I am so blessed to have the opportunity in front of me to start making new memories – something I have started, something I treasure, something I look forward to doing more and more in future. Something I consider a gift from God; unexpected and happy. Something lost from the past that has become joy-filled in the present. Or as St. Paul said, “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)