It no longer feels odd to me, my morning ritual of putting on a shirt and clerical collar.  I am now just as likely to forget that this catches others off guard and it can take me a minute to correctly interpret their peering eyes.  “Is that…?  Does that mean..?  Wait…She’s a priest?”

And other times I cannot forget that I wear the Church’s uniform.

When I sit with a family grieving with them their loss and reminding them, with my presence, in the Church’s uniform, that they are not alone.  That I, the Church, and God are all with them.  That no one has been forgotten.

When I talk with those whose voice has gotten lost, who feel overlooked, and fear they are unimportant.  When I apologize and they tell me I had nothing to do with the slight.  And I say, “But someone from the Church needs to say I’m sorry.  So, I’m sorry.”

I worked hard to be able to put this funny thing on.  And at all times it is an honor and a privilege.  In some moments I feel the collar ringing my neck.  Not a burden, but a reminder.  Reminding me that I wear this uniform.  That, at my best and at my worst, I represent the Church, at its best and worst, and God, who loves all of us at our best and our worst.