Dany Crosby

Message From The Minister

September 2020

I have been asked many times what it is that you were least prepared for, what surprised and surprises me the most as I became and continue to become a minister. The answer, as I have come to realise, is that I am never not a minister.
I have been feeling tired, deep down in the marrow of my bones these last few weeks and particularly since the weekend. The Friday before, writing took so much out of me emotionally, spiritually, physically and mentally. I had travelled to Yorkshire to conduct the funeral of my ex step dad, the father of many of my brothers and sisters. There were many complex emotions for us all as we said our farewells to this figure who had dominated so many of our lives. I was there to hold us through this deep challenge. I did my job, with Sue’s support. We came through it together and, as friends and family left one another, there were many tears and the hope to see one another once again, when we can return to normality. There was deep love between siblings and family; deep love; it was noticeable that the tears came as we said goodbye to one another. There were very few tears shed during the service.
I have noticed that the hardest thing for me in ministry is witnessing the suffering of those I care deeply about. It is the same with congregants as it is with family. I felt deep emotion, too, at the wedding I conducted for family of congregants this Sunday. A family I know well. It was lovely to conduct the service, particularly to be able to connect to family all over the world via Zoom, the best man was in Australia. That said, as lovely as it was, it still took its toll emotionally. As di the Sunday service too. Maybe it is the times we are living through, the things we can do, in spite of the restrictions of the virus, maybe it is just where I am personally at right now. I do know that I have slept a lot these last few days, as I have felt a deep tiredness within me.
By the way, I know I am not alone. We are all feeling the weariness of the pandemic. Not surprising really is it. Where do we find rest from it? Where can we find a bit more playfulness in the seriousness of the situation? Last Friday’s funeral was full of laughter, far more than I had written. There was a lot of laughter and playfulness afterwards too. It helped us all through a difficult time. Maybe that’s something we all need to search for, a little more playfulness might just help. After all, they do say that laughter is the greatest medicine.
One of the things I love about the poetry night I host weekly on Zoom (entitled Consolation, Sorrow and Joy), is that through it, we are sharing so many wonderful emotions, including a great deal of laughter. Yes, it is serious at times and at others utterly hilarious. It has been so needed. As the old saying goes- All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Play can be the best way to escape from the troubles and tiredness of life, it is also vital for creativity. I know when I am tired, and a little lost in myself, I find it hard to be creative. Playfulness is an important aspect of creativity. I was thinking of this on Tuesday morning as I was concerned about my day ahead and all the things I needed to do that day. As I did, I found myself distracted by the little dog as she played with all and sundry and I found myself laughing and loving her playfulness. It tickled my funny bone and it put me in better humour.
Good humour is so vital to life. How are your umeres? as the ancient physicians used to call them, are all four in balance? How is your health, your physical, your emotional, your mental and your spiritual health? These four could well be our present day umeres. The key to living in harmony is to find balance in our relationships in life, our relationships with each other, with ourselves and with God, another four modern day umeres if you like. Isn’t this what life is built upon, our relationships? I suspect above everything else that this is the key.
We need lightness of being and to play sometimes in order to maintain our emotional, spiritual, mental and physical well-being, to balance our umeres, to be in good humour so that we can do the work that needs to be done.

Love and respect, Rev Danny