I have always wanted to be a doo-wop girl, a backup singer for a great entertainer, but as I get older I realize that the possibility of this happening is slim to none. I’ve made my peace with the fact that it might not happen. I have found other ways to fulfill that desire: videos, karaoke, and playing Just Dance,but I realized the other day that I had overlooked the obvious. I’m a minister. Not the senior pastor, but an associate, a staff member who supports the work of the pastor. The church has been my version of being twenty feet from Stardom. Sure from time to time like every great background singer, I get the opportunity to stand at the sacred desk, to enter the holy of holies, but I exercise my gifts and talents most often by peeking behind the veil, watching the priest, prophet, or sage do his or her thing.I’m the harmony to the melody, the descant over the verse. I’m there, present but not obtrusive, demanding very little and doing just enough so that you don’t even know I am there,but it’s apparent when I am not.
It’s an interesting place to be. I have enough talent that people want me to strike out on my own, but that’s not my calling. I support.I complement. I help. And that is enough.
I decided to follow an alternate writing prompt for today because the #30daywritingchallenge prompt was to discuss a family member I don’t like. I don’t really know my family beyond me immediate family as both of my parents are deceased and growing up, we only interacted with my dad’s family and we didn’t do that much. Family is complicated for me.
So the alternate prompt is 22 things for which I am grateful:
- I am grateful to be of sound mind and body (relatively).
- I am grateful that I have family that loves and supports me without question.
- I am grateful for friends who have become like family that love me no matter what.
- I am grateful to be employed and to have a team that appreciates my efforts
- I am grateful for one more day.
- I am grateful to have a community of faith that nurtures me and lets me be myself.
- I am grateful for friends who are not afraid to tell me the truth.
- I am grateful for friends who pick me up when that truth hurts.
- I am grateful for coffee and Pepsi Cola.
- I am grateful for French fries. They make me happy.
- I am grateful for the loves I have lost. I am better even though it is over.
- I am grateful for December 14, 1999. It is a day that I will never forget and while it was difficult, I was changed on that day.
- I am grateful for the women of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Although they can be challenging at times, I am the woman I am today because of their influence.
- I am grateful for my time at Oberlin College. It was indeed the best four years of my life and influences how I look at the world to this day.
- I am grateful for two people who know my entire truth. They know Joanne: The good, the bad and the ugly. Everyone needs someone who they can tell the whole truth to.
- I am grateful for the congregations that I have supported and served. They remind me that God’s grace is extravagant and abundant.
- I am grateful for my parents. They did the best they could to give me everything I needed, even when they didn’t always understand me.
- I am grateful for public libraries. They provided me sanctuary as I was growing up.
- I am grateful for all of my failures and rejections.
- I am grateful for the one who broke my heart.
- I am grateful for every opportunity to sit in the sun.
- I am grateful that God saw fit to choose me to serve.