I am 60 years old. I serve a small church in a big, outdated (and beautiful) building. I never thought I’d see 60, because when I was young, I lived in the day — no thought for the morrow. And I’ve been busy for the last 30 years or so making up for that. Here’s how I live in the day now.

It’s Friday at the soup kitchen that is housed in my church. It’s actually not an official arm of the church — it is a local nonprofit entity that this year is celebrating 22 years as a Community Meal Program in the city of Biddeford. But our church does claim it as one of our ministries — and here’s why:

Our chiropractor friend, Dr. Paul Newton, arrives one Friday a month to give free adjustments to anyone and everyone who wants one and those who come pretty much couldn’t afford one anyway, but maybe at one time they could, and their body remembers. Today is that Friday, and this is what happens as I sit in the Ladies Parlor and the patrons come in:

“My back hurts whenever I bend over. Do you think this could help me?”

“I used to go to the chiropractor a lot when I was working, but I can’t now. This is really great.”

“My unemployment ran out this week and I’m not sure what’s going to happen. I have a speech problem (stuttering) and when I go for an interview it’s really bad.”

“Pastor, I have an MRI scheduled next week because they can’t figure out why I can’t hold any food down. Will you pray for me?”

“This is my first time here — I saw the notice in the Courier — but I knew when I walked in that there was good energy here — and the tables are set up so beautifully — are you having a special dinner tonight?” ( I told her no, this is how it always looks for Bon Appetit — which is the name of the Biddeford Community Meal Program, also known affectionately as “soup kitchen.”)

“I’ve got a wicked kink in my neck … do you think you can fix it?”

I sit on the couch and wave as they file in, joking with Dr. Paul, as they call him … and I smile as they leave — smiling and sometimes doing a little dance step or letting out a whoop of relief.

How did I get here, I wonder? When I think of the components of my life as a pastor in this place, I think of a song on the radio I heard which has as its refrain, “God bless the broken road, that led me here to You.”

The Rev. Marilyn Smith Glavin has been the pastor of Second Congregational Church in Biddeford since 2004. She can be reached at:

[email protected]