Yesterday, we had a medical emergency at church. After it was all over, I left the hospital and thought about just driving home and taking some Advil for my aching head! But, instead, I went back to the church, gave the firemen next door an update, sat down in the sanctuary, and breathed. Good thing we practiced a breath prayer in my Lenten group.
Sometimes, when I am in the middle of a crisis situation, I think much like I did when I got married...I think, "If I stay calm, everybody else will stay calm. If I keep it together, everybody else will keep it together." Usually, it works that way. I've found that to be especially true at funerals. The family is often exhausted and they need a calm presence to get them through all of the rituals that surround death so that those rituals can be comforting and not even more stressful.
The flip side is that when I am out of crisis mode, I have a moment or two of not being myself. The truth is that emergencies get to me, too. Death gets to me, too. Scary things scare me, too. Sometimes, when I finally get by myself, I have tears. Sometimes, I just stare out the window. Sometimes, I just close my eyes and breathe. Sometimes, I think I do all of that at the same time.
All of that to say...never take your minister's calm for aloofness. We are often doing all that we can to hold it together ourselves...which makes me appreciate all over again the importance of keeping our spiritual lives in shape. You never what the day holds. You never, ever know. So, breathe. Receive the Holy Spirit. Amen.