I went to an organ recital and reception at church last night. It was well attended by members of the parish and the community at large, including the Sisters from the local convent(Sisters of St. Margaret).
Not many Episcopalians know that there are Episcopalian nuns (and virtually no one else does, either -- try telling a Roman Catholic that there are any other kind but theirs!). But the Sisters have played an important role in the history of our parish and community ministries going way back. Unfortunately, their numbers are dwindling and their ages increasing, but they continue to enrich the lives of all they encounter.
Sister Jane Margaret, well into her 80's, is currently the oldest residing at St. Margaret's House. She's a tiny woman, frail, and in increasingly poor health, but she has the kind of fiery energy that seems to burn brighter the more her body fails her.
Last night at the reception, she drew me aside, having heard that my daughter was going to be playing in a regional soccer tournament, now that her team has won the State Cup championship. Her eyes were aglow with excitement. She told me how much she loved playing lacrosse when she was young (and how they allowed girls to play the "real" game back in 1940, whereas today she knows that checking is no longer allowed -- at least it's not legal -- for girls). Apparently lacrosse was something she missed very much when she first entered the convent. She said she was glad my daughter was able to play as she did and wished her the best of luck.
Then she drew me closer and told me, with a twinkle in her eye, that if by some chance she made it to heaven, she said she'd be playing lacrosse there. She also said that just last week, she spoke to the bishop after some ordinations and he told her he loved lacrosse as well. She asked the bishop if he'd play on her team with her in heaven, and he said yes, he'd be happy to.
So, somehow, some day, God willing, the two of them will be playing in heaven, men and women alike, bishops, nuns, and whoever else may love the sport. Blessed be Jane Margaret and all the Sisters.