“We are not that far apart, God can see us both!” These words were written on a friend’s carepage last week and they have been running through my head a lot especially today. Do you ever feel like you are alone? in life? in your vocation? in ministry? in the world? If you are like me you probably answered yes to this question and it probably feels like such a daunting feeling. How else are you suppose to feel when you see these words; solitary, lonesome, forlorn, and desolate under the definition of alone in Webster’s dictionary?
When I graduated from seminary in 2005, I knew that I had made the right decision. God truly was calling me into the ministry of Word and Service; Diaconal Ministry. There has been and continues to be no doubt in my mind! Yet at times, it feels like such a lonely call. So many don’t understand my call to Diaconal Ministry. Heck; they probably dont even know what a Diaconal Minister does or is! (Now don’t get me wrong; this isn’t the case for everyone!) But the reality is that the roster is such a new (compared to the other two rosters in the ELCA) roster that there is so much to educate and for the world to learn about us! My call calls me to “home and family ministry” yet so many see it as a call to “youth ministry.”
Today I am having one of those days where the joy seems to be outweighed by the loneliness. In other words, today I’m feel quite a lone. I am currently the entire DM roster in my synod! Boy who would have thought that I would be a pioneer??!?! And in the midst of the loneliness, I am reminded of those who have seen my gifts to this ministry. I think of my seminary advisor who reminded me that it would have been so much easier to walk out that door and quit and never look back. I am reminded of the many who bring such joy into my life when they “get” Diaconal Ministry or even approach the question with me! I am reminded of the gift and blessing of my DM brothers and sisters in the ELCA and around the world. I am also reminded that not everyone of us has the same gifts; “There is a variety of gifts, but the same call.” Jesus himself took a risk when he washed the feet of his disciples. It was completely out of the norm and wasn’t at all what people expected! Yet Jesus did it anyways!! I have to remember that even when I feel lonely etc.
The truth of the matter is that I (we) are never alone! God walks with us at all times. And it is especially in the times when we are feeling lonely and afraid and like God isnt even here when God says, NO WAY! LOOK! LISTEN! HERE AM I!!!! Or in the words of my friend on her carepage post, We truly arent that far apart. God can see us both.” In other words, WE ARE NEVER ALONE!(even when that is the only feeling we can seem to comprehend)