Last week was quite eventful too.
Mrs E. got summoned to the gendarmerie following the untimely death of a church member in December 2003, right before our crisis blew up. As far as we knew, the enquiry was closed, although we knew foul play was suspected. Turns out they wanted her for a DNA sample. That’s worrying even when you’re innocent.
Almost simultaneously, I was asked to perform a funeral for an inmate at the prison who had committed suicide after confessing to a recent murder (he was being remanded for rape). It was a sad affair with six others present besides Mrs E and I, one of them the guy’s girlfriend pregnant with his child.
This was sad, and also strange because it was the first time I had done a funeral since immediately before my departure from our ex-church.
In addition, on the morning of that day, we finally received our French nationality papers. We still have yet more paperwork to do to get our common or garden ID cards, but that’s a formality now. It was nice to get to the end of a journey which has lasted over three years, and strange that this step forward should fall that week too.
Plus, our current church has now reached a point where there is a strong feeling I should be recognised formally as its pastor, which might happen soon.
And it’s two years ago today that I resigned from the débâcle at the last one.
Few days go by without me thinking about the whole affair one way or another, but all this provoked more reflection than usual. I’ve been trying to tease out the different strands of feelings I have. There are the issues of destroyed relationships, wrongs done, and the theology, ethics, and mechanics of forgiveness and/or letting go to be dealt with (some debate here for instance).
There’s also the issue of the church that was. I’ve decided this part is like a bereavement. Right when it all blew up I ‘laid it on the altar’ knowing it might be finished and that unlike Isaac for Abraham, it might not be coming back. I’m still a long way from coming to terms with a lot of the other stuff, but two years on, perhaps I’m coming to terms with this.