Church Life, Relationships

Regularly Scheduled Maintenance

Stop me if you’ve heard this one. An old guy lives in a house with a roof that leaks. Someone asks why he doesn’t fix it? “Well, I can’t fix it when it’s raining, and when it isn’t raining, it doesn’t leak!!”

Yesterday the furnace at church wasn’t working. I called a furnace company and they came in and fixed it, but first they reminded me that last time we called them they recommended getting on a maintenance schedule. This is perfectly sensible, except that it led to a fight among the trustees, including a shouting match between two of them in the Chancel on a Sunday morning approximately ten minutes before the service began. One side wanted to keep using a guy who they only call in emergencies. The other wanted to change to the new company and get on a schedule. The former wailed that we were taking bread out of the mouth of the old furnace guy; the latter gave in and did nothing, to stop the fighting.

So here we are a year later, and the only thing different is that we no longer have trustees! Now it’s up to the Ministry of Property to solve it. And the fighters from both sides are now off the committee. I guess that’s a good year’s work, although the furnace still needs attention.

Last week my husband told me he felt I was married more to my job than to him.

I’m not sure whether it’s worse to be the person who feels that way, or the one who has to hear it.

I mentioned this to a couple of my male colleagues and they just sort of shrugged and said, Yeah, it’s like that. Sort of like they were saying, Oh, tough luck for our wives being married to clergy.

I’d like to be a bit more sensitive than that. But if I really were, maybe the water wouldn’t be putting out the pilot light.

Jesus isn’t much help in this area, always talking about alienation from family, leaving everything behind, giving it all up to follow him. I’m not sure I know how to reconcile these competing calls. I’m not sure I know how to husband my light and heat so that I have some left over when I get home. And I’m not sure where to turn for the regularly scheduled maintenance I, and we, need.