I haven’t written much since I was waiting for contact from someone. He emailed yesterday- this kind man and pastor who oversees a number of churches in a particular region- expressing some of his thoughts at recent disappointing event. And once I heard from him, I felt free to try to sort out thoughts in writing.

We had another near miss with a church- a beautiful, interesting, creative church that would have been as close to perfect in fit for us (and us for them) as possible. But for whatever reason, they took a sharp turn toward someone else. And even in our disappointment and broken love for this church, we bless the candidate who will lead them next into their new season of change and growth.

Yet this has been hard to swallow. It is not the first time that an interesting and compelling church has slipped through our fingers so close to the finish. As a friend of mine describes, “It feels like always being a bridesmaid but never a bride.” That friend now pastors a wonderful church where he feels right at home. I rejoice with him.

Since seminary, one of my spiritual practices is to use the narratives of the Bible to help make sense of my own story. So at different points in the journey, I have found companions in Abraham and Sarah. Or Peter in prison. Or Job in pain. Or Lazarus’ death and resurrection. Or even Epaphroditis who burned himself out in ministry. This practice has allowed me to explore parts of scripture that inform my own experiences, that inform my theology about those experiences. And quite frankly, they offer hope. Which I’m pretty sure is in short supply for many of us and we need it.

Recently, I’ve bounced between the narratives of the Israelites’ victory over Jericho and Joseph’s story in Genesis. Joseph probably more than Jericho. Yeah… Joseph has been my buddy lately. In fact, I’m pretty sure we are at the part when he’s in prison, gifted with God’s presence the favor of the warden to use his gifts and excel, but being forgotten in the injustice of a butler’s lack of memory. Yeah… I’m pretty sure we are there.  Read the rest of this entry »