A Thought

Some people have been saying things to me lately like, “When are you going to write a book?”  Which is baffling, and flattering, and head-inflating, and humbling, all at the same time.

The answer is, most likely, not anytime soon. I’ve been meditating on two thoughts:

1. The oft-quoted quip whose origin I confess not to be certain of, but it goes something like this, “She who never quotes will never be quoted,” and,

2. This excerpt from the preface of Hans Urs von Balthasar’s magnificent essay Love Alone Is Credible:

It goes without saying that the following essay contains nothing fundamentally new, and that it seeks in particular to stay true to the thought of the great saints of the theological tradition: Augustine, Bernard, Anselm, Ignatius, John of the Cross, Francis de Sales, Thérèse of Lisieux… Lovers are the ones who know most about God; the theologian must listen to them.

 

So I am trying to slow down and listen. I feel a little head-over-heels sometimes, with so much I feel called (truly, called) to do and say, but I also am acutely and, frankly, painfully aware that I was pretty disorganized, anxious, and distracted in seminary and missed a great deal of the basics. When called upon to read Augustine, Anselm, and John of the Cross over my three frantic seminary years, I skimmed and boiled down to what was needed to make a B+ on a paper.

Part of this was necessary for survival, just the nature of the beast of graduate school. But I think that at least part of the nature of the succeeding beast, your first few years of ministry, is to play catch-up. I feel I’ve been sent on a run– a very important, lifelong sprinting marathon of a run– without my shoes tied, and now’s the time to bend down (while still running, I suppose) and try to get the knots in place.

I appreciate your interest in my journey, and will continue posting here– hopefully more often!– with the things I’m learning, doing, seeing, hearing, feeling, experiencing, screwing up, hating, loving, enjoying, and bearing with.

In the meantime, lovers of God, I listen to you and to the chorus of witnesses, for it is through you that I will come to know something of this Being I address when I cry, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!”

Hopes of a Hopeful Young Clergy Looking Out Toward the Rest of Her Ministry

I want to be a truth-teller.
I want to have honest lips
(for true love is truth-telling).

I want to be a God-revealer.
I want to have loving eyes
(like God’s).

I want to be a Christ-bearer.
I want to have open arms
(like Jesus’).

I want to be a hymn-singer.
I want to have a dancing tongue
(that I might praise my God).

I want to be a promise-keeper.
I want to have a strong spine
(so as not to let my sinful nature get the best of me).

I want to be a joy-bringer.
I want to have a broad and constant smile
(for the Gospel lives in broad smiles).

I want to be a heart-warmer.
I want to have warm palms
(to hold hearts in).

I want to be a peace-maker.
I want to have gentle knees and elbows
(that do not jerk or jab).

I want to be a Gospel-sharer.
I want to have calloused feet
(to persevere).

I want to be a LORD-lover
I want to have wide, wet eyelids
(wide in wonder, wet with love).

I want to be a sister-pastor.
I want to have soft forearms
(for woman and children to lean upon).

I want to be a prophet-weeper.
I want to have a leaking heart
(spilling love).

I want to be a burden-easer.
I want to have strong, broad shoulders
(to carry the load).

I want to be a silence-possesser.
I want to have large pores
(for the silence to seep in through).

I want to be a soul-healer.
I want to have deep lungs
(for bright, bellowing laughter)

I want to be a Spirit-vessel.
I want to have a wandering mind
(for the Spirit to stumble out of).

I want to be a hope-haver.
I want to have a crooked neck
(from permanently looking upward).