Saturday, November 11, 2006

Divine (Feminine) Intervention

My friends at seminary held an intervention of sorts with me this week.

I was trying to quietly travel from the doorway of the commuter dorm to the doorway of the room I share with another commuting Mom, but I was intercepted in the kitchen as I returned from an evening working in the library.

Are you allergic to something, my friend asked, because your eyes are really watery and you sound congested.

The commuter dorm is full of Moms and sometimes it just doesn't pay to try to mask the truth. After her third question about the state of my respiratory system, I just decided to fess up that it had been a tough week and let my histamines speak for themselves.

So, I was ushered in to the common living room and given the only comfortable chair and was gently baraged -- that sounds like a non-sequitor, but Moms know the high art of gentle barage, especially theological Moms. I was baraged by questions about the state of my being.

You need to stop doing something, one said. And they all agreed.

This is not news to me. I need to stop doing something, but what?

I'm not going to stop being a wife and mother, but I have stopped doing anything but my laundry and dishes around the house.

Every time I think about what to stop, I think about seminary. When the fact that I'm in seminary seems to be the tipping point in my life, I often try to imagine my future without it. But that usually leads me back, mentally at least, to journalism, and I'm just not ready, yet, to turn my back on this sense of call.

They suggested I give up pastoral care. Can't you do something else at the church? they asked. Couldn't you just put in the 15 hours of your internship? They find it a bit odd, as I do, that I was put in charge of pastoral care in the month after my father died but without much intentional attentiveness to that challenging combination except when I reach a breaking point and voice it. (I did raise this issue this week with the senior pastor who told me I could talk to someone in our counseling center, and I plan to.)

I told them I had sometimes thought and had even suggested giving up my worship coordination responsibilities at our contemporary service just to ease up somewhere. But you love worship, they said. You can't give that up. And they're right.

But what they said that most got my attention both for the gift of the affirmation and their genuine concern was this:

Karen, you have so many gifts for ministry and it makes us sad to see you getting all used up before you even get to become a minister.

And that got my attention.

And then they made me sit still and be prayed for. They might have let me say a prayer if I had wanted, but they made it clear that I was the recipient of these prayers and I needed to sit still and receive them.

And they prayed for my release. And they prayed that someone would care for me the way I care for others. And they prayed that I have the strength to carry on. And they prayed that I would know the presence of God in every moment of my life.

I do know that I am at my best when I seek God in all things, and I have no doubt that She was there in that moment.

1 comment:

RevErikaG said...

Amazing....what a blessing spiritual companions can be for us....