Sometimes we just need to get out of the way.
It wasn’t a pretty scene. There is a phrase, (you can substitute the profane word if you’d like), but it was a Crap Show!
Although I try really hard to always consider the feelings of others, sometimes, I’m so selfish. So sad, but true! 🙁
The morning my father was dying, after some time with him I wanted to have a prayer/blessing of his life with his pastor.
My daddy LOVED his pastor, so I thought what a privilege it would be to commune with the Divine in the presence of both those men. I was prepared for some powerful “God moments.”
His pastor arrived and instead of jumping into the prayer, he jumped into talking.
Not “how are you?” Not “how is your dad?” But … in the next 30 minutes I learned about his life. ALL of his life (use your imagination) . . . I’ll spare you the details but it was way more than I wanted to know.
Typically I’m not afraid to speak my mind but this time, I decided being outspoken wasn’t a good thing.
Yet as he continued and we approached the 30 minute mark, my patience wore thin. At one point I interrupted and made reference to my dad/my relationship, likening it to his story. His response was, “Well, to get back to my story . . .”. So I let it go.
After a few more minutes I tried the tactic of looking at my phone.
Then I put my head in my hands.
THEN I put my elbows on the bed, leaned over and pretty much laid halfway down on the bed, looking up at him hoping he would finish talking.
Still – no break in the story.
Finally I interrupted, apologized, and asked if we could please just pray with my daddy? I needed to go. (Stellar grieving daughter action, don’t you think?)
I’ll never forget his words . . .
He said, “Oh yes, I’m sorry. I guess you ended up being my pastor today.”
My thought was, “I wasn’t here to be your pastor, I needed you to be here for me.”
There are so many intersections in life when we encounter one another and we both NEED something. Yet, if we want to truly encounter the life-altering love of Christ, if in those moments we can take a step back from what WE need and instead focus on surrendering our own needs/desires for the sake of someone else, the impactful change God’s love will have within us is truly life-changing.
I owe him an apology. And I will be offering one.
Often times I’m fussing because men in my profession do not regard me as a colleague. If I had allowed it to be, that day would have been a true gift. My dad’s Southern Baptist pastor looking to me to be his pastor. A female. What a gift that COULD have been. But I just couldn’t see.
What if we model Jesus along the road to Emmaus? He simply listened to the disciples tell of their grief and pain.
God has a way of showing up in our grief and just listening. What if we take that gift and offer it to one another?
Who and where can you show up and listen today?
13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him. Luke 24:13-16