There are some things that no one tells you about being a pastor. One of those things, as I learned on Sunday, was that I'd leave church smelling like a goat. And while that might be strange enough, it's not the strangest thing. No, that honor is reserved for the fact that I didn't mind smelling like a goat.
She (Beatrice) was awfully cute. She was brought in as the guest of honor as the church celebrated its 10th anniversary of partnering with Heifer International. We have a tube that travels to both services each Sunday and folks generously donate their quarters. Sometimes it's so easy to think that our contributions have to be significant in size to matter. But in ten years, we've gathered enough to purchase 60(!!!) goats for families across the globe.
The day was a holy day of celebration, marred only by the dark shadow of the horrific events of the week. (Boston marathon bombing, standoff at MIT, explosion in Texas, and others.) According to the liturgical calendar, the 4th Sunday in Easter is always Good Shepherd Sunday-- a day where we are reminded of the ways that Christ shepherds us. But, we are also called to be the ones who enfold those who are held captive by the harsh realities of a broken world. Our work with Heifer International is an important piece of that mission.
So, I smelled like a goat. And that's ok. Because if smelling like a goat is what it takes to remember our mutual call to ministry outside our doors, then count me in.