Friday, June 27, 2008

might as well have gone to the dentist...

I expected as much. But even when you expect to hear unnerving words, actually hearing them and thinking about hearing them are two very different experiences.

I know.....I a non-anxious presence,
responding with anger is exactly what is desired
by the one who spoke words.

I would say that the words I heard were ones that had been bottled up for years and finally like a flood came pouring out. Though that is not accurate. These words have been spoken again and again to others... words I've heard for the past four years. I heard them when I was doing my best. I heard them when I was at my lowest. No matter what.... these words found their way into my a swarm of stinging bees they attacked me. I've told the appropriate leaders about these words.

Today, these words, for the first time, were spoken to me in other words not by a second or third party which has been the preferred method for four years.

I would have rather have had dental work than sit and hear what I have heard and was forced to hear one more time. (And sadly I know I'll hear them again!)

What I didn't expect to hear were the blatant contradictions:

"You are trained to offer pastoral care and yet you spend far too much time with administrative duties." Following this statement a question that required that I be a master administrator. When I responded that another staff person would have to answer the question, utter dismay that I was not knowledgeable of every administrative detail. Yet, proof that I trust others to do many of the administrative duties so that I might be faithful to my pastoral calling.

"You should have been there when I expected you." Yet, it was made clear that when I was there I did not meet expected needs. So why am I needed so badly if I am so bad at what I do? "I need you but I need you to be someone else....something else....and when you can't be the someone and something I need...... you might as well not bother....but I expect you to bother.....but not the way you bother me!"

It's the nagging question that haunts most pastors driving home at the end of the day. "Who did I fail to serve today, what did I fail to do? Should I turn the car around and go do it right now?"

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