Tuesday, December 25, 2007

quiet christmas

Peleg is out of town this week on a personal trip so I'm spending the holiday alone. Sunday church services went well. I preached on Christmas themes, how the story of Christmas shows how God enters into our lives in the most unexpected ways and not in the manner that will put on the biggest show for God, but to those of whatever station most need a visit from divinity.

Sunday afternoon I went to see Sweeny Todd with a friend. A great movie. I would say it could be one of my all time favorites, except that it would be hard to make a favorite of a movie so disuturbing and bloody. But an excellent movie. And an excellent job perserving what is an excellent theater piece. After the movie we stopped for tacos at Casita Del Campo.

Monday I visited a family in the hospital. The niece, 61 years old, of a man who was a member of the church I served previously. That man had died earlier this month and I've been working with the family to prepare for his memorial service on Thursday. Then this week the niece had entered the hopsital and slipped into a near comatose state. She was overweight and had been in poor health for a year with constant pain. She had multiple symptoms, possible lymphoma, and had lost most of her mental function while in the hospital due to toxin build up in her system from diabetes and failing kidneys. The family was trying to stitch together the various pieces of information coming in from different doctors and decide on a course of action. While I was there they made the decision not to procede with further testing, as the woman would be unlikely to survive any possible course of treatment with any kind of quality of life. I stayed with them until they made the decision to order hospice care. She'll probably last a week or two and the family will be dealing with that while we're memorializing her uncle on Thursday.

I came home and had a visit from a couple that Peleg and I had met while we were on vacation last September. A cay couple who live in San Francisco but were down in the LA area visitng family for Xmas. It was nice to see them and we made plans to see each other in Palm Springs or San Francisco later next year.

Christmas Eve I went downton to the Music Center to sing with the Gay Men's Chorus as part of the annual Christmas show sponsored by the City of Los Angeles and broadcast on our local PBS affiliate. It was kind of cool getting to go into the artist's entrance at the Dorothy Chandler and hang out in one of the rehearsal rooms. We performed near the very end of a very long show that featured all kinds of musical groups from around the city. We sang three numbers from our recent concerts, did them well, then got off the stage and that was it. I came home and watched "Grace of My Heart" on DVD and went to bed at midnight. Santa didn't visit.

This morning, Christmas Day, I got up around nine, fed the dog, made a pot of coffee and read the New York Times sitting outside on our back patio overlooking the lake. It was lovely. Around 11:30 I drove down to Cedar Sinai hospital and met up with a group of guys from the chorus with the plan to do some caroling at that hospital and then four other locations around town. But I left after we finished at the first hopsital and came home. About twice as many guys had shown up as could really fit in the hospital situation. And with that many guys it was hard to hear or see the director so I don't think we were sounding very good. In any case I didn't feel that my presence was adding anything so I opted out.

I came home, took a short nap. Then I took my dog out for a long walk around the lake. She's sleeping now on the bed in the other room. There's a bar nearby hosting an orphans Christmas party tonight. I think I'll go over there in a bit and have a drink.

I'm remembering that divinity has a way of appearing in the most unlikely places and just when we need it. Maybe tonight. Merry Christmas everyone.

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