Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cleaning Up My Act

So here's my plan. My plan is, in response to your emails and comments, keep "(un) closeted pastor" going, but with an emphasis on what the title says: what it's like going about my business as a pastor out and about in my neck of the woods. My personal stuff will be kept private, which is appropriate (though you can certainly expect Beloved, Larry and Petra to make the occasional appearance on these pages). I do have a story to share about trusting God as God reveals my truth to me-- and believe me, that happens at least once a day if I'm paying attention at all. (And sometimes, you know, I'm not, because that's what it's like to be an unfinished, incomplete, under construction kind of person-- i.e., human).

I'm still trying to parse and work on my private situation. I will say this: I hate the idea that I've caused pain, and that someone is angry with me, especially a family member. It's painful, it's not what I want. It takes real discipline for me to deal with it like a grown up, and I do not always have that particular tool available to me. So I covet your prayers in this area.

Let me add, on a related note, this is one of the major personality characteristics that is challenging for me as a pastor. Because, let's face it, after his first sermon they tried to throw Jesus off a cliff. If we don't ruffle feathers now and then we're probably not doing our work with integrity.

That's it for today. Thanks for reading. Thanks for being a real community. Thanks for the love. Love you back.


Robin said...

I wasn't around for the beginning of your discussion of this dilemma, but I'm so glad you've decided to resolve it this way. You are a great gift and tremendous role model for me as I start to think about similar things. Although the issue and many of its consequences are different, I am in a somewhat similar situation. My candor about the experiences of the past two years seems to have been helpful to some, but off-putting to others. I am thinking about going through my blog(s!) and clearing out anything that might be hurtful -- I know that I have expressed my own anger and hurt in those semiprivate places directed toward individuals who might recognize themselves and with whom I have never shared it with in a candid and honest way. I don't have any desire to cause pain -- which would probably be magnified out of proportion, but I do want to start owning what I've written in a more public way. I have often wondered (and continue to wonder) what it means that I returned to seminary under in such a vastly different state of mind than when I began it, and had to make my way through the past two years of it, surrounded by upbeat and optimistic people, which I was in such excruciating pain. (No doubt I missed a great deal, including the personal struggles of many around me to which I was oblivious, given the overwhelming nature of my own.) Perhaps I am deluding myself, now that I can more or less stand up, but I do like to think that I have perspectives and capacities that I would not had things gone as planned. However, I also realize that in order to be effective, I need to exercise a degree of restraint and sensitivity that I simply don't have. So perhaps we will be walking some of this next part of the road together and be helpful to one another in unexpected ways.

Barbara said...

I believe that we ARE our personal stuff. That is what makes each one of us unique and very special.

Songbird said...

This sounds reasonable, if disappointing. Glad to be in touch with you.

Jules said...

All I can say is that I love you. Here, there, or anywhere.

MadPriest said...

Don't ever do that to us again, please.

susankay said...

I'd be interested in general responses from those called to priesthood/ministry if many find it especially hurtful to have someone angry with them. Heavens knows, my priest has that problem and it causes problems for him and for our parish.