The verb 'manquer + à' means to miss a person, place, or thing, as in feeling the lack of it. Here are some examples:
- Paris manque à moi. Paris me manque. I miss Paris.
- Tu manques à moi. Tu me manques. I miss you.
Which brings me to what I miss. "I miss ministry," I found myself lamenting the other day.
I miss being part of explicit healing and wholeness. I miss that marginalized and "on the edge of things" sense of being that comes with being a Chaplain. I miss explicitly praying with so many people every day. I miss the awkwardness of wondering if patients or families even want a prayer. I miss my colleagues and our sick sense of humor. I miss being called on my sh*t.
Then again, I don't miss being on call for 30 hours at a time. I don't miss being in the midst of wailing mourners who are crying out to God why why why. I don't miss being reminded day after day of the suffering that we humans go through. I don't miss living part time in Spartanburg.
I think that I'm just grieving.
Which is why the French way of saying "ca me manque" is really apropro. Ministry is not really missing me, ministry is missing TO me. I am struggling to remember that I am doing ministry in any kind of work I do. So part of my spiritual practice these days is to accept what I am doing now as really a step towards what is next. It's a reframe.
With God's help and grace, I see how working as a fundraising rep for United Way in the area of Healthcare is ministry. I pray for God to turn my heart of stone for "business" to a heart of flesh for relationships and for Love. I pray that I, too, can "connect the dots" - as our business slogan says - that the work I am doing to raise awareness of needs, will also soften the hearts of people who can give and thus make our community stronger. Jesus, I pray, keep me awake. Help ministry to not miss me.
Jesus said, "You're tied down to the mundane; I'm in touch with what is beyond your horizons. You live in terms of what you see and touch. I'm living on other terms. I told you that you were missing God in all this. You're at a dead end. If you won't believe I am who I say I am, you're at the dead end of sins. You're missing God in your lives." John 8:23 (The Message)
What is missing to you as you show up, in this moment?