So here I am, the second to last blog before I take a summer break and NOT SO IDLE THOUGHTS goes into reruns. This week, I’d like to pause to say thank you. Gratitude, I have discovered over the years, opens your eyes to beauty, even in the midst of trial – or perhaps especially in the midst of trial.
I am inspired by my wife, the Reverend Trisha Elliott, who is in fact a multiple award winning writer. She has a powerful legacy of building faith through her writing. Some of the work she has done has been humorous, as in laughter is the best medicine. Some has been a little tougher. Recently, she broke two pivotal stories -#MeToo in the United Church and another story about maternity leaves gone wrong, again within the United Church. (https://www.ucobserver.org/
For certain the actual stories are inspiring – especially when one considers how much courage it takes the people to tell them. Equally inspiring is just feeling the power of telling stories in general – telling them honestly, telling them without malice, telling them with the conviction that we need to tell them properly so that change can actually come about.
That really is a test of faith.
It’s a test of faith in the Church (Will it really listen and change? We pray it does and have faith it will.)
It’s a test of faith by those we hear the stories from (From where do they get the energy to carry these stories for so long?)
It’s a test of faith in ourselves as ministers (Can we listen objectively and with compassion all at the same time?)
And it’s a test of faith in you – the reader. Because you, the reader will let us know if we are getting it right. You the reader helps us face the music about our own work. You the reader are not just the audience but also the mirror by which we see ourselves.
I have watched Trisha write all kinds of stories over the time I have been so fortunate as to know her as a partner. And through her I have come to appreciate you – those who read and comment.
When I started writing this little blog, I had no idea that it would connect me to my ministry and life in such a profound way. I had no idea that it would expose me to so many windows on human nature. I had no idea that it would help me get to know myself better and to get a better sense of direction.
I have you – my readers and commenters – those who read and reflect – who agree and who disagree – who challenge and who encourage – to thank for that. I dare say, you are like a separate congregation who has helped me hone a pragmatic sense of my work – challenging me to find concrete things that actually make peoples’ lives better. You have further grounded my faith pushing me to understand that we cannot appreciate what is divine without facing what is human.
I won’t wish you a great summer just yet. I have one last blog left to do that.
I don’t want to rush past these very important words.
Be blessed. Be a blessing.
Rev. Eric Lukacs