Sunday, January 29, 2006


Most of my life, I have been in professions that are not project-based. I have waitressed and bussed, edited manuscripts, tagged and coded legal publications, cleaned, pumped gas, cooked, and managed an upscale deli. My three most important, most lasting professions -- the work that permeated my life and formed me -- are teaching (philosophy, college-level), organizational consulting, and, of course, pastoring.

Consulting is project-based, and fun. But both teaching and pastoring are about relationships, and there is no clear beginning and end to those... at least not the ones that affect us.

When I was teaching (which I loved doing), the hardest part was watching people I had grown to love move on, and never finding out whether our time together had helped or hindered or affected any part of their lives. Looking back, teaching, particularly something as affecting as philosophy, was a faith walk of sorts.

Pastoring has those aspects. People come and go, and take your love with them. But sometimes, on precious days that are graced by the light of the Divine, you can see their lives change. Or they tell you: my life is changing; I am changing my life, with God's help; today I am blessed.

Today, I saw the Holy Spirit moving among my folks, my loved ones. And someone blessed me by sharing those words. The light shines in the night, tonight.

The work is the thing. But there's nothing like a great end to a good story. Or a good beginning to an even greater one.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Stepping over the edge

After Christmas, and wonderful worship with my church, I took vacation time. It was the best of times and the worst of times. The best was having extended time with my husband, and visiting my sister-and-brother-in-law in Portland. The worst was having extended time with my own brain.

Maybe not the worst of times -- "the unexamined life is not worth living," after all. Sometimes all that brain space is freeing: it can allow my mind and soul to explore possibilities. This time, I wound up confronting myself in new ways.

The upshot: The only barrier between my living fully into God's gifts and purpose is me. My own fears, my own brokennesses. My own gaps of trust in God.

But God is very very good, even to me. God reached out through the love of my husband and comforted me. God reached out through the companionship of women-friends-in-ministry and inspired me. And God convinced me to whisper my dreams and expose my gifts to all of them.

And to commit to using those gifts, no matter how afraid I may get.

I dream of relationships that break down the boundaries between me and God. Or you and God.
I dream of "church" that is whole-life, deep, and relational -- that reimagines community life into connected living.
I dream of helping others overcome the distorted mirrors and demon voices that keep them from believing that they are worthy of God's love... and that they already have it.

There's a project in the works. But in the meanwhile, there's a cyberhome.

Even You Ministries, because God in Christ loves even you, and there's nothing you can do to change that.

Vacation can work miracles.