Doorway to a Deeper Place
“Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.”
~Ranier Marie Rilke, “Book of Hours” (I 59)
Sometimes it can feel as a pastor that no one is buying what you’re selling.
One of my mentors used to talk about ministry as grief work. At the time, I thought that was a bit dramatic. But now, with more years under my belt, I get it. In church, some people are buying what you think you’re trying to sell. They want the good news: to experience that precious sense of God’s overwhelming goodness, grace, and power for new life available to literally anyone and everyone who will accept it.
God knows gospel-bearers aren't perfect. We have limitations, flaws, and blind spots. But if you’re fortunate in ministry, the gospel keeps calling to you. Some days I can almost feel it: glowing like a jewel in the center of my chest.
And then, people are people, too. They have all kinds of agendas, some of which they’re aware and some of which they’re not. People have all kinds of reasons—many of them good—for being at church. But when those reasons don’t touch God, don’t have anything to do with mission, purpose, or shared faith, it can feel like you’re selling vacuum cleaners as they hold out their hands for an apple. It’s more than a disconnect: it can seem like an unbreachable chasm. It can feel like, well--grief.
In those moments, you need a doorway to a deeper place.
What if we met more of the people we love, care for, and serve with a simple intention?
“I want to meet you where you are: no more and no less.”
Then it’s up to God to close the gap. Who knows? Our empty hands might be all the tools God needs.