It's been a curious couple of days, all of which as largely taken the form of 'retreat' and during which, more than anything else has come a sense that God delights in me, is pleased with me and simply wants me to be me. As I said to the retreat accompanier on Tuesday evening, I do Proddy guilt really well, am good at feeling I should work harder, better, smarter, that I should be more holy, more spiritual, more disciplined etc. etc. And in amongst it all God was saying, so it seems, 'just be you.'
The picture is a doodle on that theme, colours chosen because I like them, swirls (spirals) of reflection and integration, a dandelion clock which is a symbol a friend and I share which captures something of God's Sophia Ruach active in uncontrollable ways, red shoes because red shoes (obviously)... and other stuff that matters only to me, and means stuff only to me.
So, being me means...
Continuing to learn what it means to be a prophetic, poetic, pragmatic, preaching pastor - a challenging blend if ever there was one.
Continuing the work of using language other than male power language for God
Giving expression to the creativity God has blessed me with, in places and spaces where that is safe and helpful for me and for others
Something about non-striving, about enjoying and celebrating my spirituality for what it is
And continuing to be the minister to the Gatherers for any foreseeable future.
At the 24 hour ministers' retreat we were asked to reflect on 'how have I changed (in the last five years)' and 'what does God required of me'.
In essence, I am the same person I was five years ago but, shaped by some painful and difficult experiences, and having worked hard to explore and address those, I am far more at peace with myself (and with others).
As to what God requires of me - apart from the obvious Great Commandment and Micah Challenge - simply to be 'me', not trying to conform or comply, not worrying, whinging or whittling, but instead delighting in who I am and all that God enables me to be.