As Nancy and I were driving home from a conference on Tuesday, I said I was grateful that I had a post from Rich for Wednesday because I felt like I didn’t have anything to say.
She reminded me of all the conversations I’d participated in and listened to, the time with her, the prepping I’d done. “Isn’t that things to write about?”
What I said, what she knew, is this: What I need in addition to ideas is time to process the ideas, time to reflect on the conversations, time to understand what just happened.
I have a variety of things I want to explore moving forward.
- I want to think and write about moral injury as it relates to clergy (in particular) during the pandemic season.
- I want to think and write about the ministry of presence being at the core of the Incarnation rather than being a side-dish to preaching.
- I want to think and write about the image of God with smoke streaming from nostrils and fire coming from the mouth (in Psalm 18) as it interacts with the deep emotion Jesus demonstrates in response to Lazarus’ death and entombment (John 11). (It was part of a graveside service I wrote recently.
- I need to build a course in pastoral care to teach in the fall.
- I want to talk with a friend about institutional grief that comes when something closes.
- I want to spend more time unpacking the idea that not every ending of something (a program, an annual event, an organization) is a failure to be grieved. Sometimes it can be a completion to be acknowledged and celebrated (even as there is loss in it.)
- I need to learn more about a concept of resilience that I heard about on Tuesday morning.
Some of these things may show up here at 300, over at thisishard.substack.com, or in conversations. And some of them will make some of you say, “I want to know more about that.” (Let me know what resonates).
And some of this makes me say, “I need to stop thinking so much.”
Thanks for letting me share.
In the picture? My friend Lee. One of many people it was good to see at the conference.