mercredi, septembre 15, 2010

A you a "nice Christian"? Get over it!

Have you ever been the subject of church gossip? Been charming to someone at coffee hour and then complained about their voice or their politics or their faith all the way home?

Are you a "nice" Christian?

Do you think the faithful are supposed to be genteel? Or are they just numbskulls like the rest of us?

Comments, puhleese...

dimanche, septembre 12, 2010

So who am I (or you) ... really?

I have this friend, an accomplished writer, who recently described herself in an email as a "stay-at-home mom."

I have a lot of respect for women (well, lots of women) I know who either have the time and money and/or make the financial sacrifice to be at home with their children while they are young.

But in this case, I threw in a caveat. I'd describe you as a writer with two kids who works at home, I told her.

Oh yeah, and a wife. A faithful laywoman who represents her denomination nationally.

And, of course, a good friend.

But who am I? How would others describe me?

It's possibly an inevitable question for those of us who stumble upon life in the public eye, even if in a small way, or have positions that place us under the lens, whether we are doctors, or lawyers, clergy or teachers.

Perhaps its also a question that women, who often treat parenting as a competive sport, ask one another -- and themself.

Am I the successful writer? Am I successful (published, paid, hard-working) enough?

What about that mix of skills and defects, history and aspiration, that I bring to mothering? Am I "there" enough when my children really need me?

Am I the dork, the thick-lensed introverted intellectual I recall from high school, that some men brush off as a possible date? Too old? Too conservative? Too much the mom?

Or am I the middle-aged hottie refracted by some others? I chuckle. This is purely impossible, I say to myself - - they need better specs.

Most baffling, at this point in my ecclesiastical career -- with my drive towards change, toward mission sans bricks and mortar, do I belong in the hierarchical, glacially-changing denomination in which I currently serve?

And who are you, anyway? What persona do you inhabit today? What dreams are you shelving? Which ones yet to be explored? What are your hopes? Regrets? Secrets that you haven't even told yourself?

It's so much easier to limn my friend, than to catch myself in flight, and say -- oh, THIS is who I am.

Can you nail the butterfly? Do you even want to?