Thursday, July 9, 2009

Shimmering Light

Sometimes I wonder if it’s me or them? Well, to be honest, many times I wonder that quite often. How can people be so self-assured? How can anyone know that they are absolutely right? Are they brilliant or just arrogant?

These are the questions that I ask myself all the time. Is it me or is it them? Well, the answer is probably that’s it’s neither or maybe it’s both. It is more than just possible that their position is just empty bravado in a lame attempt to hide the same insecurities that I possess or perhaps, it’s my own insecurities that make them seem so self-assured. Who knows? I don’t, that’s for sure.

Since moving away from ordination, I have no clear picture of what lies ahead. I don’t think I want to marry people, baby blessings seem a little beyond my comfort zone. I am drawn to doing funerals, why I don’t know. Perhaps it’s because when a love one dies the family left behind is vulnerable and I know vulnerable and I would be able to offer comfort from that place. But, beyond doing funerals, I don’t think my ministry lies in that kind direction. I see myself as a teacher of people along the path. But, isn’t that arrogance to think that I actually have something I can teach?

I am in the waiting place. I am waiting for direction and my vision to be made clear. How long I will wait, I do not know. But, I am content to wait for now. Perhaps I will put out a few feelers to see about getting a funeral or two, but I will also sit and listen with all my heart.

I heard God’s call as I sat in the woods the other day. I was surprised to learn that God’s voice isn’t loud like thunder, but rather it was the soft sound of the patter of chipmunk feet on the dirt near the stream. It was the shimmer of light reflected from the stream on the trunk of the tree. It was the dance of the birch leaves in the sun as the breeze stirred. And it was the darkness created by the overhanging boughs that hung precariously over the water’s edge. One little bird was happily jumping into the shadows and back out again, God’s voice was there too.

God speaks to us through these experiences if we are still enough to listen. The other day I listened. I saw God in all I saw. I saw God in me and I realized that whatever I do from this day forward is God’s work. All I need do is to allow myself to abide in God. To surrender and let it be, stop trying to have it all make sense. Ministry is in the little things. It’s in smiling at someone who catches your eye. It’s in holding a dying old woman’s hand and telling her that Jesus loves her and is holding her close. Reminding her that she lived a good life and did the best she could; even when you don’t really know what kind of life she led. It is about kindness.

I may never be a great preacher on a pulpit, or a guru with tons of followers, or even a marrying minister, but I can be kind. And that is the place in which I am waiting.