I want to share a little about why I write and why I choose to be open about my life, thoughts, feelings and even actions.
I don’t write to gush emotionally on social media to curry complements or comfort (though I am never one to reject a thoughtful and kind word). I do so, to model characteristics that I think humanize a profession that is pastoral but too often not very, personal.
I am a writer and writers, write.
The process of writing and reading is where I most often find the comfort of God. It’s a process of prayer, really. In most things I face or deal with I find that I can’t fully move through them without processing them in prose or poetry and prayer almost always dances in and out, before or after the writing experience.
I was an artist and a poet before I was ever a pastor.
I love pastoring, but not more than being an artist. I don’t see them to be contradictory to one another and I am grateful how my life and the work of the Lord has intertwined in such a way to include all the gifts I love. To be in a work life that involves words both ancient and modern, to investigate parables, fables and myths, to be a teller of stories, to live and love tragedies, to be rooted in a faith that places poetry and song at the center of its worship, and to contemplate people and powers that are larger than life is a tantalizing calling indeed! To live a pastoral life in and among the cataclysms and celebrations of human life produces an artist with more material than one knows how to process.
I also think leaders need to be vulnerable, humble and as transparent as they can be on certain levels. There’s way too many knights in shining armor that project an attitude of being above the common challenges, temptations and struggles of all the other mouth breathers. I have struggled over the years with the overabundance of people who want to be everyone’s ‘teacher’ but there’s a dearth of those willing to be ‘fathers’.
1 Corinthians 4:15 “For even if you had ten thousand others to teach you about Christ, you have only one spiritual father. For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you.”
Father’s don’t just pass on what they know, they give their lives to those they love. Paul said this in 1 Thessalonians 2:8,11-12: “Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.”
I find that the medium of writing facilitates this in some ways, sure it’s hard to truly control how people read it or receive what you say, but it’s an attempt that I find is worth the risks.
Well..I do on most days.
So thanks for reading, and thank you to those who comment, and a really big thank you to those who engage, ask questions, dialogue and even those who debate. You make it all far more richer and meaningful, and…you give me more things to write about. 😉
Painting: ‘Saints Peter and Paul’ by Daniele Crespi, 17th Century