A Piece of Writing I Want to Share With You Today

Todos los pastores están sufriendo.

I said this to my husband this morning, as I sliced up a fresh garden tomato, lovingly given to us by our neighbor. Our six-year-old daughter looked up from her eggs and sausage: “Even you, mama?” she asked. 

Oops. They’re always listening. Always. Nothing gets past my bilingual babies. 

“No, baby,” I reassured her. “Papa and I are just talking about pastors, in general. It can be a really hard job, and some people are sad today.” 

Some people are sad today, indeed. 

Aren’t we supposed to rest on Labor Day? Go to picnics and eat watermelon? 

Unless I’m missing something, a lot of us spent a good part of the day looking at our callings under a microscope. And reading comment after comment after comment.



Assuming we know what someone else’s experience was when we have absolutely no idea. 

Even if we know them, we don’t know. 

It’s not about us, but it stirred something up in us.

Nothing is just one thing. Ever. It never is. 

And so today seems like it might be the day to share something I wrote about a year ago. This is my story and it’s not up for debate. I won’t be taking any questions or comments at this time. You are invited to read what I wrote because I wrote it and writers write and sometimes we share what we write, or parts of it, because it is our art. Sometimes art is private and sometimes it is public and that’s our call. Everything before this sentence was written today, September 6, 2023. 

The following is an excerpt of something I wrote on June 2, 2022: 

If only it were just one thing. If only it was all pain and abuse and not also miracles and beauty, every day. If only God didn’t work in and through the battered and broken institution that is the church. If only, if only. 

The truth will set you free. 

The truth: 

I live in a holy place most people never get to go. I live there in the midst of the people. I have walked people right into heaven so many times. I walk them all the way to the front door and then watch them take their first step inside.  I say goodbye and bury their bodies in the ground.  I show their families where to find them then. I tell them the truth about the holy mystery. We will not all die but we will all be changed. It’s a mystery but it’s true. We are energy and energy is never destroyed it only becomes something new.  Didn’t you learn that in High School Physics? I did. I did. They cry. 

I tell people that there is no place they can go that is outside of God’s grace. I tell them and tell them and tell them and tell them and tell them and forgive them on behalf of God himself. I forgive them for the things they whisper on their death beds. 

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. 

I’ve walked with people in and through the darkest corners of hell in order to rescue something or someone they left there. Put on my fireproof jacket and carried them right out on my own back.  

My access pass is unlike any other. I pass through the police tape and through “special authorization required” doors. I ride in the back of the squad car, and the hearse and the ambulance too. The NICU the SICU the PICU. The scene of the crime. The prison cell. The morgue. Rehab. The courtroom. The attorney’s office. The doctor’s office. The gate at the airport. On the plane. 

She’s his pastor. 

Let her through. 

Babies in jail. Holding the megaphone and the sign. Anti-torture. Anti-brutality. Anti-oppression. Pro-Spirit. 

I bless your marriage and love your love. 

I love that you love who you love and you can feel my excitement. 

I recognize love when I see it. 

I get to tell people what I think about the Spirit every single week and bear witness to Her work in this world. Show you the things you didn’t see before. Show you the light inside you. God put it there and it will never blow out. Never. 

I lost my temper 

I take drugs 

I don’t know what I’m doing 

I was a terrible parent 

My kids are all messed up 

I’m not as good as everyone thinks I am 

I cheated 

I lied 

My family has secrets 

I’m broken 

It hurts 

Everything hurts 

I tell you the truth and the truth is this: I still see the light inside of you. God put it there and it never goes out. I can see it. I can see it. I can see it. I always see it. I. Always. See. It. 


Every day. 

It is the imago dei and. It never goes out. 

I see it. I see it. I see it.  

And I know that all of this, all of it, every last bit of it is not my own talents or my own strength or my own power. It’s all a gift, freely given from the Spirit of God. 

I just get to watch it all happen. It’s not even a job. And I love it. 

I love being a pastor. 

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