Friday, November 10, 2006

the ground on which it is safe to stand

i joked in an email to erin this morning that i have figured out why women shouldn't be pastors/ministers. yesterday i got my hair cut. i'm freaking out a bit this morning. it doesn't look like the stylist did it in the salon. i can't imagine what sunday morning will be like.

i imagine this is something that most male preachers never have to consider. the trials of having a bad hair day on the day you also have to stand in front of a congregation... sigh. i guess many of them just have 'bad hair lives' as my dear liam of the tall baldness will attest to! :)

i'm beginning to get nervous. i know it won't be this level of anxiety if and when i do this more often, and breaking through in a new community for the first time, telling my story and practicing my teaching skills - but today i sit before you all at this keyboard wondering 'what was i thinking?'...

i have literally been putting this sermon together for months. on tuesday it all fell into place and i was very comfortable with the flow, stories and quotes i will be including. i know that this is what i am meant to talk about. it is just risky. to hand people the tools with which to hurt you always strikes me as just plain silly. but that is the point isn't it? that is where intimacy happens.

others talking from books and keeping everything/everyone at arms length is what i have complained here about for years, right? so to do the same would make me the the biggest hypocrite of all. but boy is it tempting. i feel much more sympathy for those i judged so harshly. projecting a version of oneself is much easier and safer isn't it? that way if we are rejected it wasn't really us to begin with.

i have been working with my counselor in walking that tightrope of determining self revelation that is balanced, true, and honest. i fear being gratuitous or over the top. it is a difficult boundary for me. i have prayed about it a lot.

one of the main focuses of my teaching is parker palmer's concept about being pushed down to the ground on which it is safe to stand. much of my journey has been finding that ground. i realized that if i can keep my feet firmly planted on it no one will be able to knock it out from under me.

speaking from a place of wholeness and healing instead of projection and insecurity. finding the "author"-ity i own instead of grasping for power i have no right to.

please pray for me. it is an excited fear, not a loathing or crippling one. but it is fear none-the-less. i have found myself finding comfort in eating these past couple of days. it's not something i want to trade for my serenity. my prayer is to have real serenity even in the midst of anxiety. oh, and that i'll be able to have a good hair day too!

7 comments:

Amy A. said...

I'll be praying for you this weekend, bobbie. Good hair and all! You will do great and touch lives and make friends and help someone to heal.

Go get 'em!

Deb said...

I'm so glad I came across your post this morning. I really needed to hear this:

"to hand people the tools with which to hurt you always strikes me as just plain silly. but that is the point isn't it? that is where intimacy happens."

I certainly will pray for you. And I can relate, too. This year, I have painted myself into a corner (so to speak) so that I must take action on the things I believe in.

Now that I'm here--I daily ask myself "What was I thinking!" haha

I'm grateful for the opportunity to grow in spite of my fears; and I'm grateful to know I'm not alone. Thanks for a wonderful post.

PS - It's STYLISH for your hair to look like it wasn't "done" :)

anj said...

30 seconds - that is the amount of time I always know that I will be nervous, before the flow opens up and I know I am speaking from that palce of groundedness and then I can have fun. Just give yourself thirty seconds. Now, I also like to frame it in these Quaker queries - Was thee faithful? Did thee yield? That is the true measure for me. Blessings and peace to you this weekend, and oh yeah, good hair too. :)

Hope said...

You go girl!! Will be praying.

Deb said...

I'm praying! I just know you will do an amazing job and that you'll touch the hearts of many.

Kristin said...

My prayers are with you, too, Bobbie! Sounds like you're going into this as ready as you can be, and I have no doubt many will be blessed.

ldqn said...

When you said that:

"Others talking from books and keeping everything/everyone at arms length is what i have complained here about for years, right? so to do the same would make me the the biggest hypocrite of all. but boy is it tempting."

That rang so true to me. I hate that arms length platitude style of preaching. Tell it like it is! But that is so scary and difficult. But the times my heart's been opened and blessed have been when the speaker fully opens up and let's God use them.

I pray for now and hope to hear great things. Wish I could be there to be a supportive, empathetic and grateful face in the crowd.

Lara