August 24, 2009
Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you... Genesis 8:15
Be merciful to me, O God, for you are my God; I will call upon you all the day long. Ps. 86
Today we began a didactic seminar on "Images of Pastoral Care." We'll be reading the anthology (Dykstra) and sharing case studies that connect to the wide variety of imaginative metaphors of pastoral ministry. The Wounded Healer. The Courageous Shepherd. The Circus Clown. The Living Human Web. The Intimate Stranger. The Midwife.
The idea is that with these creative metaphors we may begin to develop our pastoral identity. The book's thesis is that as I, the reader, begin to understand my self-identity, I may recognize my own insecurities in holding up an image of myself that may or may not be working. "Both the madness and the wisdom of pastoral theology... derive from keen attention to life on the boundaries..."
In the midst of this madness and insecurity, today I imaged my pastoral ministry as jazz. It's discordant, yet has a cadence that connects all the notes and the listeners. It's sometimes blue and sometimes radiant. It escapes any 'box' that tries to contain it. And it will change.
And it will keep changing. And God will be in the midst of it. All the day long.
How is God revealing God's self you to, wherever you go, today?