“And none will hear the postman’s knock without a quickening of the heart. For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?”–W.H. Auden
I grew up in a family entrenched in ministry. I saw shepherding and serving as difficult and thankless. My parents often burned-out on doing good but never pulled back for times of real respite. The older I became the more I resented their focus on other people while my siblings and I floundered around spiritually.
My mom cross stitched Galatians 6:9 as a Christmas gift to hang in my dad’s office. “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” How could they be so committed when the Church was such a mess? When I was fifteen there was an ugly split. I watched over a decade of their lives burn into a pile of rubble. I ran as far as possible from God and His people as I could.
It took relocating and many years before the smoldering cleared, and my parents were brave enough to return to demanding positions of ministry. My mom is an elementary principal of a large Christian school. The hearts and lives of the children and their families are what she breathes. My dad is an education and missions pastor at a local church. Almost every waking minute of their lives at least six days a week are committed to serving others. I can’t wait to see the heavenly harvest from their life work.
I never wanted to be like them. I talked about this with my counselor many times. I sporadically returned to the Church and resisted almost every opportunity to be real hands and feet. I slowly began to serve in ways like taking meals to others, watching their children and joining in small Bible study and fellowship, but it was hard, and it frightened me. Focusing outside my own heart and the hearts of my family and risking being an active part of the body of Christ seemed too far to stretch after all I’d seen.
Read the rest of this post over at The High Calling.