I got a reply to my letter to my pastor. You have no idea how monumental this is.
You see, I send emails now and then to pastors, when I realize something, especially when it’s as a result of a sermon. I like to let them know, hey, you got through to me!
But for the last, I don’t know, five years or so, I did not receive replies to these emails. Not even a line to say, “Hey, I read your email, thanks for sending it.” Not even a smile and a nod at church to say, “Yeah, thanks for sharing.”
Nope. Nothing. Silence. Crickets chirping.
So much for having a pastor.
So when I received an actual email, from an actual pastor…. wow, I was over the moon. And I hadn’t even read it yet.
Because you have no idea – our church has been through the trenches for the past few years. The previous pastor stepped down a few years ago, having been caught in infidelity. Then we had a few fiascos with the elders’ board, so they were all let go. Then we had an interim pastor who was amazing in his ability to be the interim pastor but was not a shepherd. So no wonder my emails went unacknowledged.
But no longer, apparently. This new pastor may actually be approachable. He may actually want to chat. Regardless of my zip code, which seemed to scare off the previous pastor, it not being in the successful part of town.
(No, I’m not kidding. That’s really a thing.)
At any rate, this was such a good email from my pastor I wanted to share it here. Because he GETS it, and I have hope now that some dialogue is going to happen and that my experience with feeling marginalized and disqualified by my circumstances may actually HELP some other people down the road.
Here’s what he said. You guys, it’s AMAZING:
I would love to hear more about some of what you are experiencing and more so, how I could pray and walk with you more directly in regards to what you are feeling and asking the Lord to do.
While I am unaware of your exact hopes, my desire would be that the Lord would answer your longings through His word and the community of his people at (our church). I have walked in similar seasons of feeling like the Lord wanted to have conversations about everything but the hole in my heart. Then stunningly, out of nowhere He would speak through His Word or the church and I would realize that he was working out the answer all along.
I just want to encourage you- you are not forgotten, nor is the Lord uninterested in your pain- even if it may seem that way because the sermons don’t directly address the numbing ache you feel. My suspicion is that He is working in the waiting. As you mentioned, I know that platitudes and Christian aphorisms don’t soothe real pain, but my hope is that this response is more than that. My hope is that this is an invitation for you to hope in the Lord ferociously and expectantly and to have a righteous angst to see the work of His hands. And I would love the privilege of entering into that angst with you.
Seriously! Hope ferociously? Righteous angst?
Oh wow. Just those two phrases alone have lifted my spirits.
This isn’t a weird thing – this is righteous angst. No wonder I’m feeling angst. Things are not right. Of course I’m feeling angst.
And ferocious hope? You know what that is? That’s that thing that makes you go, “Okay, so the house is on fire and there’s a hurricane bearing down….. Bring it on!”
It’s been a while since I could say that, but now that I know I finally have a pastor in my corner? Oh yeah.
Kid with diabetes?
Kid with dyslexia who spends most of her day in bed with her phone?
Kid who moved out and might need a new job soon but has no skill-set other than brewing coffee?
Kid who got dropped from all her college courses this semester because of a missed email?
Husband with ADHD who isn’t talking to me about anything real these days?
Elderly mother who may have Vascular Dementia?
Thirty students and a class I’ve never taught before?
Bring it on!!