Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Three days out, ordination is becoming increasingly real. It's been a long process--over seven years, in total--and I'm not the man I was when I started.
They don't call it formation for nothing.
Spend an academic year in a hospital, with the bewildering mix of those who are dying, suffering from illnesses terrible and mundane, or in the burn unit. And be there for them. The extraordinary thing is--I was able to.
That's a sign of the Holy Spirit in action; a sometimes cynical, sarcastic man, nonetheless able to serve as a channel for God's love to be expressed. I can't go back from those experiences, especially in the face of the love and support I received from my brother and sister ordinands, from our mentor, and from the chaplains whose commitment to this ministry was not for a term, or two, but ongoing.
Here's the thing: My gifts have been primarily been my skill with word, my cleverness. Nine months in a space where cleverness and contention are useless--well, that'll force you back on first principles. First principles here being empathy, and standing with those who are wounded.
I'm pretty sure I got more than I gave--but I did my duty. Not much more than that, I daresay--but still, that's not nothing.
My ministry will begin soon. I'm not the man I was.