I had coffee with Pastor Chris the other day. He reached out and asked to meet up. Now, it wasn't the first time, HAHA. During his initial approach I thought, "Am I about to be rebuked?" Fortunately, I wasn't. Anyways, we met up and talked. I asked him a few questions as I was stressed about how I would manage my time here in Blacksburg.
Guy-that-thought-he-was-going-to-be-rebuked-that-one-time: "How do you manage your time?"
PC: "I don't. Around this time of the year, I'm not good at it so I don't."
Hopefully, that doesn't make you think less of him. His answer gave me a lot of piece (intentional). I was sipping my coffee and getting my mental pen and paper ready. His answer kept me grounded. Reader, I used to have this view that church leaders have to be perfect. You know? That they have the answer to everything. Serving in church and all that jazz. Their holiness points must have been through the roof. I always had some misconception that I have to have my "poop in a group." Gotta rack up my points so I can win some people to Christ. I'm talking lightly about it, but isn't that how we subconsciously view church people? Christians? We place so many expectations on them. I think it can be suffocating. When they fail, where's the grace?
I was briefly thinking about the Ashley Madison Scandal and what Justin Gross. said about it. He mentioned that around 400 pastors would be stepping down. Not sure how accurate the number is, but the point is, people with lives already falling apart just received another punch
to their groin in the face.
A few days ago, a pastor committed suicide after his name was released. Man. Darn. Poop. I'll stop there, haha. Reading that headline really bothered me. It's like the ultimate wedgie that rises up past your navel and around your head. It made me wonder about him. More than how messed up he is, what were the moments leading up to his last day? How was his family? How come he couldn't tell the church? Etc.
How do we, as
Christians people, respond? One path we can stroll on is to say that they're horrible and should never have been a pastor. The greener, less taken route can be to look at it with grace. Not to say that we should let them know that they're excused. NO! There are consequences, but it can be done in a loving way.
You hear a lot of quotes like:
I felt so pressured.
I was stressed.
It's beginning to make sense. I look at my struggling self and it just makes sense. Some are better at hiding their flaws, but in the darkness is where the enemy does that most damage. He accuses, isolates, and deceives. I want to remind you that all of us are broken. Leaders, pastors, elders, etc. go down the list and think of them as humans before they're a perpetual ministry machine. We're all flawed. That's the beauty of it. We've all fallen short, but...
That's the point.
There's this one Guy that's risen tall. Going back to the pun you probably laughed at because I don't type well, the pieces of this puzzle called life are slowly forming this picture of God. Yeah, it's not the most perfect picture, but it shouldn't be. We're not in heaven yet. Some of my pieces are okay, they'll pass. Some are covered Herschel's crap because he eats almost everything. Last week, he ate two blueberry muffins. I digress. Some are just unusable and I bet some are missing. Some of them don't even look anything like they belong. But that's okay. I think it was meant to be like that. You have pieces that fit into mine, I have pieces that fit into yours. It's as a community of broken sinners we gain a better understanding of the Good Word.
On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
So yeah, I should be working... but I'm bad with my time. Back to work!