Recently I received a phone call. The voice on my answering machine was the district executive of a district near me. The voice said, "There is a church that would like to call you as their pastor. Are you interested?" I laughed. I laughed loud and long and said to my husband, "Do they know who I am?" Because they are a tiny church, a tiny church which my ex-husband pastored when we divorced.
Did you hear that? The church my ex-husband pastored wanted me to consider pastoring there.
And one really must ask, "What the f@#$?"
And again, I laughed. And said, "Yeah, I'm not even going to bother returning that call." And I laughed again, in sort of a fake way, with an added "Ha!" punctuating the end for emphasis.
And that night I didn't sleep very well. 'Cause I kept thinking about that phone message. And the night after that I slept even worse. And I couldn't stop thinking about that little church, sort of like an ear-worm, one of those songs that you just can't stop singing ("It's a Small World," or "Louie, Louie" or "YMCA" or "The Lady in Red" [how about as a blogging comment y'all send your worst earwormed songs?]).
And the next day I called the D.E. and waved my little white flag of surrender and said, "I'm a teeny bit interested, but only as an interim, and only as pulpit supply, and only for a little while. And only as a second position, because I wouldn't be leaving my job as a hospice chaplain." And he smiled knowingly and said something pastoral which I can't remember now. And I left thinking, "What the f@#@ am I doing?" (notice how I've become more pastoral and don't cuss nearly as much but instead sort-of cuss?)
And the next night I called my very kind and good ex-husband in a big city in the Northwest to see how he felt about the whole thing...and he said, "No, I don't think it's too weird...it might be good..." And I got off the phone and wept, because God really got me with this one...quasi-reconcillation with my ex-husband and a call from the denomination which I felt abandoned me.
This grace stuff breaks me open and leaves me gasping everytime.
And the next week I sat in negotiations for an interim position with the D.E. and the search committee and I said, "Why do you want me, when I left your pastor? Why do you want me when I divorced a good man who you loved?" And a voice spoke up and said, "You are a good person, and K. was a good person, and we figure, it's not really our business to judge." And I saw other heads nod in agreement.
And in that instant, my heart and my voice said, "Yes, yes, yes."