Hi dear pigeons,
Thank you so much for your wonderful comments in response to my last post, and for your e-mails thanking me and in some cases, attaching the powerful sermons you delivered yesterday. It means so much to me that no one gave me a bunch of crabbing and tried to turn my cri de couer into an argument. I just did not have the energy to deal with that kind of ish. I get enough of that garbage on Twitter.
I gave a sermon that said all the honest things I felt obliged to say and I put everything I had into it, so that’s done. We do the best we can and we move on. How did you do? Do you want to do any after-care?
There is a great loneliness and fear standing up before a congregation and giving them exactly what you feel you MUST, and knowing that while some are nodding and “amen”ing, others are bored or irritated or feeling negatively about your or your message. That’s a hard thing. It’s not like in a show where you’re playing a character someone else created, speaking words you are not personally responsible for. If someone doesn’t like your performance, so what. In preaching, though, if someone doesn’t like what you said you most likely will not hear about it, or by the time you do, the passion and spirit-fire that went into the crafting of your message has dissipated and you have moved into the next week. You can’t really explain that that is what God put it in your heart to say for that moment, for that Sunday, in response to that thing that is happening in the world, or your life, or your community. I know for myself, I write my sermons in a trance-like state sometime. When I read them over to edit and polish, I don’t always know myself where the ideas or the message exactly came from. That’s the art form. It’s intuitive and collaborative with invisible partners (God and the energy of the congregation and parish).
So. Deep breath. I am not surprised that my stomach is a bit of a mess today. I am going to the beach to let Mama Ocean rock me. Take care and check in. The ministry rolls on…