My Nigerian co-resident’s wife made me a stole from some fabric I gave her a while back, when I was in ordination process #2.
It’s white satin lined with bamboo broadcloth.
Sometimes I put it on and look at myself in the mirror. For a really long time.
But I don’t preach to the mirror or anything like that, or practice holding a chalice so that it’s perfectly framed by the stole as I say “take and drink all of you in remembrance of me…” – that would be ridiculous.
I just like to put it on and feel it on me. It weighs nothing yet feels heavy on me in the best possible way. If that even makes sense.
I love how it looks on me, I like how it feels and every time I pick it up I get excited thinking about wearing it in worship one day.
Then I think about how special it’s been to be part of a congregation that has welcomed me with open arms from the very start. They treat me like one of their granddaughters – which I think is just as pastoral for me as it is for them- and they ask me when I’m coming to see them, how the move is going, did I get my flu shot, am I still at the office, when am I going home, do I have plans to relax on Saturday… On and on and on.
Their care for others and their commitment to their vision make me happy that my stole’s first official appearance will be in the company of these treasured and inspiring saints.