In this day and age of deception, fraud, and ongoing human depravity, it is often common to meet the
following image when online.
Whether I am sending a letter to the local newspaper or purchasing something on certain websites, I am
asked to click on all the appropriate photos that contain a particular item (Usually 9 photos). Granted, these
photos are sometimes as clear as the weather alerts one hears on the TV or radio. Garbled and fuzzy are
the norms for these tests of my visual acuity. Oft times, I'll click on a photo that sort of looks like the target
only to have to redo the whole process. Then as if the photos didn't stress one enough, you have to type the
skewed letters and numbers. (Should I use caps or lowercase???)
The other day, I was having a conversation with other pastors and we lamented the fact that a number of
laypeople (those who have no formal religious or seminary training) or non-churched folks assume clergy to
be robots with no personal feelings and or no connection to everyday pains and sufferings of others. We all
agreed in principle that ministry isn't an easy profession. It looks that way until one sits beside the bed of a
fearful one who is walking toward the eternal or sitting with a family who just lost their child to a disease. I
robotically do wade through paperwork and administrative duties and at times probably look like the robot
from "Lost in Space".
The underlying truth is that pastors bleed when cut, grieve with others in their pain, feel discord and stress
when berated for their failures, and in general tend to wall off the reality of pain with impenetrable walls of
silence and or laughter. Our training (at least those who didn't get their degree from "Ministers R Us" online)
has taught us to exude the confidence in Christ's death and resurrection. We have been trained to be that
"non-anxious presence" when all hell is breaking loose. It appears on the surface that we are not engaged
in one's suffering or we are uncaring. Yet, the peace that surpasses my feeble understanding overcomes my
fears and helps me offer others a holy presence (hopefully).
Today is one of those days that remind me of my innate need for divine help and connection. I am brought
face to face with all the things I cannot control and I surrender these to the Lord who holds all those
things....and me....in His hand.
Maybe you have known times of discord from another (maybe a pastor) and have felt betrayed or even
ignored. Have you reached out to that person and shared your concerns or has it been easier to stew over
the alleged slight and foster division between you and them? Today, while it is still today, go and begin to
rebuild the damaged bridge. God supplies the raw materials to complete the task. Grace, forgiveness,
understanding, and love will reunite you with them.
" Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others,
it is not self- seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but
rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."
(1 Corinthians 13:4-8, NIV)
"A Musing Pastor"