I had cause to look back at the beginnings of this project, At Water's Edge. I've crested two years of inconsistent writing at this site. Nobody much is reading, but that's okay. At the least, I am putting stuff out there and every once in a while some folk responds back and I feel like my words matter to more than just me. Plus, I know that most of what I read on paper and online, I don't respond to, so who knows, maybe folks are reading. Whatever.
I was doing a little self-flogging yesterday in awe of a friend who churns out book after book. He is such a great writer, far better than I could ever be, and that's not modesty, but just the honest truth. And I was feeling sorry for myself that I have not published, but who cares. I will someday if I have something good enough to say. For now, I am just happy to have the time to write. And I don't feel so bad, there are 71 going on 72 posts to this blog. That's something. Other folks jot that down in three months, but I'm not other folks. I'm me. And that's good enough for today.
As I was looking back at those first posts, I was remembering how turbulent life was two Lents ago. I was preparing for ordination to the ministry in Christ's church. I was scared out of my mind. I did not know what it would mean for me. I still don't know. I am as much a wanderer as Abraham. That line is straight out of a recommendation letter written on my behalf by the man who helped marry me, the Rev. R.E. Owens. And he was right then and I'm right now. But I can deal with a comparison to Abraham. He wandered, all over the place, but faithfully to the end. I don't have a church, which I wish I did. I'm working on that. I have, however, since ordination married a few couples and been proud to do so. Whether in retail or on an airplane I am humbly proud to say that I am a Baptist minister if the conversation turns that direction. I am always intrigued by people's reaction. All kinds of reactions. Where is your church?...Oh, that's nice...Really, well I'm a Christian too. You must come visit our church. The truth is I really enjoy every response. It's always a little surprise and I am surprisingly not anxious about others reactions. The only bother on the subject of late is a few close friends who have taken to calling me rabbi. I find it insulting to Jews and insulting to me, because that is not what I am. I guess they are somehow confused or uncomfortable around me. I'm not sure, but I wish they would quit calling me rabbi. It's really not appropriate and in no way funny. I would guess these two have never been to synagogue or else they would hold Jewish priests in higher regard. I'd be proud to be a rabbi if that were what God had laid out for me, but I am Christian minister, and a Baptist one at that. Some will water things down and say, well, isn't it really all the same. No, it's not. No disrespect, because a rabbi and a pastor would know exactly what I mean. It's not the same and we don't help one another by watering it down.
What jokes do you tell or names do you call that seem harmless but might need some analysis? For the rest of Lent, I'm going to examine the jokes I make with friends and acquaintances. I feel sure that some are more hurtful than I realize and I can expunge such habits if I pay attention.
Lord Jesus, you draw us into the shadow of your cross. By your blood you set us free. Help us to walk with you in your hour of blood and sweat and pain. We seek to be with you in these final days of Lent, and empowered by your Spirit. Show us the Way.