Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A Child in Aleppo, a Child in Scarsdale, and Ruth

Like so many, I've been haunted by this child, injured in the fighting in war torn Aleppo, Syria.

The sweetness of the six-year-old boy from New York, who wrote this letter to President Obama has also had such an impact on me. Especially the line where he says, "We will give him a family and he will be our brother."

One of my favorite passages in the Bible is from the book of Ruth, and somehow the cadence of the words and the sentiment expressed by this child continue to remind me of the lines that Ruth says to her mother-in-law that are also hauntingly simple and completely lovely.

Perhaps it is also the fact that these children, like Ruth and Naomi, are not connected by blood or country or religion or ethnicity. Just humanity and love.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Do I Stay or Do I Go?

The saga continues. Not wanting to just disappear, I met with my pastor, and ended up having an awesome conversation. As always, I am reminded that the world does not revolve around me. There are so many things that are so much bigger and more important, and I always appreciate the perspective. This meeting, of course, also allowed me to connect with another human being in a very real way, and now, I'd like to go back and eat a few of my previous words spoken in haste and the heat of the moment. He is truly called to the ministry and is facing his own struggles and challenges, yet he put that aside to listen and support me and was willing to be so open with me. What a gift.

But the truth still remains...to paraphrase John Pavlovitz (a really interesting pastor who I enjoy following on Facebook)...I'm feeling a bit like an outcast in my own skin.

The current church no longer fits, and I'm exceedingly anxious about trying on a new one. What do I owe to the church family who welcomed me back to the church? What do I owe to my growing recognition that my views don't fit and aren't really nurtured here? Do I speak and try to change things, or do I move on to a place that is more in line with my beliefs and values? How do I best serve God?

So I'm in limbo. A time of discernment. Wishing I was just quietly following my familiar routine. Realizing it had become a rut.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Leaving with Integrity

I am usually the type to become quieter and quieter, more and more withdrawn. It's like I wish I could just disappear.

However, this time, painful as it may be, I'd like to try to do things a better way. 

Part of my nature is to be quiet and contemplative, especially when I'm troubled or faced with a major decision. I don't really gossip, though I may reach out for advice and guidance to a trusted few.

Now that it is clear to me that God is leading me in a new direction, I need to tell those who are important to me, and to whom I am important, that I am going. And I'm praying for the right words. The right time. 

So that I can be honest without resorting to gossip or cruelty. 

Clear without reducing this decision to game-playing. 

Resolute so that they can understand this was not a decision made lightly but only after much prayer, thought, and heartache.

Kind so they know my love for them is not diminished.

And then I will need courage to take the next steps. I am such a creature of habit. I love my routines, the knowing, the sameness. Adventures terrify me. It would be easier to stay, yet at the same time, impossible. This place is no longer my place.