I veer between serenity, even transcendence, and flipping-out-of-my-mind scared. I know I have mentioned before that I am in a 12-step program around my eating issues. I have a new and fantastic sponsor to whom I pour out my fear each and every morning at 6 AM. I don't know how she stands it. I can barely stand it. But today she suggested a few things.
Prayer: it never ceases to amaze me how much I've been taught about prayer by recovering addicts, how much they have put the lie to my supposed "prayer life." Don't get me wrong: it's better now than it ever has been. But... it is still not my default action for the Big Things.
Phone Calls: Hard. Hard to call people and say, I need help, like, now. But I am committed today to calling before I take the bite. My sponsor said, "Assemble your A-team, and then use them." Is this a minister thing? This desire not to appear needy (even to other addicts who totally get it)?
Making a commitment to myself. Yes. The 'day that is coming' (such biblical portents in that phrase) has so absorbed and pre-occupied me that I have been allowing it to be my excuse. But as my sponsor said today, "There will always be reasons to eat." So, so true. It would be so good to get through this with a clear head and a clear heart.
I have recently had the opportunity to speak to two other pastors in my denomination who have come out to their congregations. One had done it in three different calls, and in two of the three, continued to have a good length pastorate. The other did it after a pastorate of good length, and has stayed there with the full support of the governing board.
Each person had different ideas of how best to do it, though they were quick/careful to say "every situation is unique, my way need not necessarily be your way."
I have come to the conclusion that I'm in the best position to judge how my governing board and congregation will best hear this information (it's not really "news"). I've decided I need to trust myself and do it in the way that seems right to me.
Now... what to preach the following Sunday (Easter 6)? Any thoughts? I have ruled out certain kinds of sermons. This is not, for example, the Sunday for the full-on exegetical defense of gayness. Not going there. This is, it seems to me, the day to emphasize some or all of the following points:
- We are in community together, the body of Christ.
Well, gosh, I got kind of stuck there. The next thing I was inclined to say was, and that means you are stuck with people you otherwise wouldn't be caught dead with! (Or, 'that brings us into relationship with all kinds of people, and sometimes that makes us uncomfortable'). But that seems to lead down a rabbit hole in which I am, essentially, saying "I'm sorry for being who I am."
Which I will not say, under any circumstances.
OK, how 'bout this:
- God loves us.
- God calls us to love others in word and deed.
- I believe you and I have been called, together, to do this work.
- How 'bout it?
In other news... Madpriest said something really nice about me. Something that made me all teary. He's a good 'un. As I recall, it was he who discovered this blog, way back when it was "from a dark place," and sent his vast and fabulous readership on over for a look-see. So, thank you, Mad One. Your stance with those of us on the margins is deeply appreciated.