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We are all gifted and good enough

My good natured husband has no problem striking up conversation with folks around town. Probably because he knows most and he is related to half. While chatting, he often gets a twinkle in his eye as he gives a little gentle ribbing.

I admire Dan's gift for small talk and quick wit.

Last Saturday at 3 a.m. I finished writing my welcome address for the Bob Zosel Memorial Dedication. It wasn't hard writing. In fact, it flowed from my heart. I just needed the last minute pressure to get the words out.

I don't mind public speaking as long as I know what I am going to say. But I'm just not that quick on my feet, verbally speaking, like my husband. Sometimes I get self-conscious talking, and feel like I make a fool out of myself. Someday I hope his ability rubs off on me.

Slightly before 3 p.m. on Saturday, my husband set up the out dated battery-operated sound system I borrowed. It opened up and became a

podium, which I thought was rather clever. And I thought it was fitting to use an antique when speaking about Bob's life, for he was our county


In my script, I planned on making an opening joke: "I don't know the history of this unit, but I am sure Bob would know."

But there I was trying to begin my speech when I couldn't read my writing. I bumbled along until I realized I was having difficulty with my bifocals. My left eye was focusing on the microphone, my right eye on my text and I would look up to engage the audience and it was all a blur. I quickly moved my glasses up on top of my head and was able to get through, with only a few more stumbles. I guess I paused at an inappropriate moment, making it sound like I was a polygamist. "I wish to thank my husband (pause) Dan Kern and Tom Weber..." At least I got a few laughs.

That night I replayed the events in my mind and criticized myself. I felt called to speak at Bob's dedication even though I have not mastered the skills of public speaking. Was I good enough?

On Sunday my family was invited down to St. Paul to attend my sister-in-law's ordination as a deacon in the Old Catholic Church denomination. It is a faith, based in Catholic tradition using the Catholic liturgy, but without being governed by the Roman Catholic Pope or laws. I don't know a whole lot about it, but from what I witnessed, it is a group of equal opportunity believers, all welcome. The ceremony was held in a beautiful old Methodist church and we were ushered to the very front row.

There were six people up front performing the ordination. The Bishop appeared to be a frail man in his 80's. I later learned he was recovering from a recent stroke. There was a heavyset priest who had the sweetest smile. He often dabbed his head and face for he was sweating profusely. There was a dark complected priest who had somewhat of a language barrier. I was told after the ceremony he was a Native American whose primary language is Spanish. The cantor was a blind priest who had such a beautiful voice. He joked about us receiving visual cues from the blind. He was also the violinist, obviously playing by ear. There was a priest who was a tall, thin, nice looking man and a female deacon who both appeared to be in their fifties. All worthy of serving God.

The most touching part of the ceremony was the laying on of hands. The six took their turns praying over my sister-in-law. Then they invited the congregation to come up front and give her our support with prayer or words of encouragement.

Afterwards my beaming sister-in-law announced she felt called by the people, for the people because the laying of hands came from such a diverse group and a multitude of faiths.

I was honored to be a part of both ceremonies. And I realized when we listen to our calling and we speak from our hearts, we are all good enough.

Our father upstairs knows us and enjoys our conversation with him. I think he must have a good sense of humor, too. Sometimes when I look up, I can almost see a twinkle.