Here and There

Monday, April 24, 2017

Shut up and Dance

I'm in the midst of a job change.  Job adjustment? Vocation deepening, but a departure from my safe nest at Church Without Walls.

When I went on sabbatical, I knew this was what I was really supposed to do, but I was too scared and it wasn't the right time for the community.  I had a feeling that I would either leave and try something new soon, or do this work, which is good work that one can feel really good about, for my whole life.  It wasn't a trade-off, it was just how I knew it would play out.

Leaving feels hard.  I don't want to be dramatic.  But it feels painful.  I feel like part of who I am is being removed from my identity.  Work at church is so ridiculously encompassing.  You may not want to care too much, but you do.  You may try to keep hours, or say it's just your job, but you are intertwined with many people in many intimate settings.  I was lucky that I was never relegated to the back room with the kids, but invited to participate in leadership broadly.  From Dana, from the interim leadership and from Gary.  That means a lot.  But it makes it even messier.  Planning with the staff for worship experiences, content, worries and dreams, always operating in the theoretical world of the spiritual, I never could do it and not care, so it was just part of me and what I did.

And now here I am, grappling with the thoughts and feelings that come with leaving that kind of a job.

At the gym today, around minute 20 on the elliptical machine, Shut Up and Dance was playing on my workout playlist. One of the gifts of having a vivid imagination that you decide to let run away with you often is the gift of visions.  Yes, sometimes they are daydreams, and sometimes they are visions.

I heard the words "shut up and dance with me" and imagined God holding out his hand with the same mischievous smile that I often wear when I am leading Godly Play.  I almost laughed out loud and cried at the same time!  Then, all the words sounded like it was a conversation between me and God about my tension and sadness and fear.  I am not one to enjoy those worship songs where it's like Jesus is your boyfriend.  This was different--this was a playful, all-knowing, completely undomesticated God (my favorite image of God) landing in the middle of my workout and speaking to me.

I'm doing the right thing.  It's hard.  God is with me.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Lent Poem Draft

I've been thinking about Lent like the gathering purple of dusk--
darkness falls.
I've been thinking of the purple like a fresh bruise,
spreading further than the spot that was struck.

Lent collects in a cloud. Lent's shadows grow. 

I've been thinking of it all like tightly closed jasmine blossoms, on a vine that's been there on the fence for years, clustered brightly, about to change.