thank you for your support - i felt it. the meeting(s) went really well, very different from what i hoped/feared/expected - and that is really good. i think my biggest fears, which i expressed to him, was either being shut down or sent out - too small or too big - and i got real, interactive questions, wisdom and encouragement. what i liked best was that he pushed me, he didn't just listen and say 'go for it', but he challenged some thoughts i had, taught me about the community and really interacted with me on this.
a lot was redeemed for me just in the dialog and interaction. i also talked about how freaked out i have been by men in authority, especially spiritual authority and how far too many times in my life that kept me silent. just talking to him in and of itself was a huge step for me, and having him really interact with my thoughts was so honoring.
he did say that he has seen so many 'idea people' just be that and only that - idea people. lots of talk, little action. and from my own life i can see that is true - so the HUGE idea wasn't where he resonated with me, he did though encourage me to begin testing the call, begin to see if it's real, if it works and if it's really a good fit for me. i liked that, i guess i just assumed since it made me so uncomfortable it must be from god. i don't think i would have made this one up. it's not like hearing the call to beach ministry or something. there really isn't anything glamorous about serving the poor. but knowing that i can say 'no' is quite empowering. it takes on a different perspective, i am not a slave to it, but a willing participant.
he also talked about the dynamics between the local churches and how a lot a time and energy can be burned up in the creating of the networks. he encouraged me to get to know the people who are already doing the work and get a feel for what exists already. pastors in our community are quite transient, so i think i'll need to be a bit more subversive and find those in the community who have this passion instead of the power structures who come and go.
there are three women who are doing really good work in the community already and he encouraged me to shadow them for some time. two of them are already good friends at church, and we have already begun talking about the work they are doing, both through the church and in the community. the other woman is the head of the local food bank, so i'm going to volunteer there to get to know her, the people she is helping and the community itself. this will fold beautifully into the work liam is already doing in town as part of his job.
i left feeling like i had real, tangible goals. i feared i would leave feeling overwhelmed and drained, even before i started. i don't. i am hopeful, excited and looking forward to getting my feet wet.