Thursday, July 30, 2015

Listening to the Rain

I am listening to it rain outside.  It sounds a little beautiful, for some reason:  not too hard, not too gentle.  We need the rain.

I am surprised to hear myself say that.  We came here just after a season of torrential rain.  I thought that I would never say "We need rain" again.

I am listening to the rain and reflecting on the fact that I have been here just over a month now.  Tonight, I'm a little down because I thought that I would be bringing my car home and it would be all fixed up and I could check that off of my list.  But they told me that they got the wrong part and I would need to bring the car back tomorrow.

For some reason, tonight, I am thinking that ministry is hard.  I am not whining about it.  There are a lot of hard jobs in the world, and they are hard in different ways.  But ministry requires skills and also trusting God, which is tricky for everyone.

There are different kinds of hard, of course.  There are the hard times of ministry in tragedy and grieving.  There have been times when I thought my heart could not bear it, when I held a stillborn baby, or heard a terrible diagnosis.  There are the hard times of ministry when your congregation is struggling and there do not seem to be any good solutions.  Faith is not magic.

Then there is the hard work of starting, of not knowing people yet, of finding my way. There is the hard work of feeling the weight of expectations, some of them my own. There is the hard work of being patient, even with myself, of trying to find my own pace. There is the hard work of learning to fail, and to succeed. There is the hard work of trusting God, trusting that God has given us the gifts we need. There is the hard work of listening, listening to God, listening to each other, listening to the rain.

I need rain.

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