Monthly Archives: November 2008

What’s Here and Now

I feel like God’s been whispering at me this week. ¬†Do you ever feel that way?

It’s whispering that’s probably a little feverish–no wonder I actually heard it. ¬†Anyway, I had this really convicting conversation with an anthropologist friend of mine on Monday, the first day of our break week here, in which our thoughts converged over our eagerness to “get into the field,” to travel, to meet real people and do “real research.” We identified how frustrating it can be to sit in a classroom and bat around theoretical ideas seemingly without purpose.

But he also stopped me in my tracks to remind me that he, as someone who admittedly cares about the whole world, tries to remember that it is disingenuous to presume that there is more to be done “out there” than here. When I translate this into ministry (which I tried to in another God-whispering conversation with my husband), it is doubly convicting: the words of that song “use me here” keep echoing.

I can’t keep missing the moments for pastoral care in this place because I’m assuming there’s something more important to be done somewhere else. One rather troubling yet apparent fact that pastors more than anyone must know is that there is brokenness everywhere. everywhere.

So my anthropologist friend essentially reoriented my perspective on ministry and also did something else powerful for me: he helped pull together the bifuracted worlds I sometimes feel like I’m living in. And it reminded me that it’s especially not a bad thing that I inhabit the worlds of anthropology and ministry–the two disciplines can check one another in my quest to be a person that can truly impart grace to another.
Okay, enough big thoughts for this morning. I’ve got to go play some flag football.