...are the ones that make the biggest difference

1.20.2005

The other shoe drops...

In approximately 1 hour I will have a follow-up meeting with the senior pastor, executive pastor and our elder (we have only the one!) to discuss the lively meeting we had on Sunday. The SP has also, apparently, contacted some other parents and kids to check up on me.

And I am of many different minds on how to go into this meeting. My wife and I went to Border's last night and I was reading through "The Wisdom of the Desert Fathers" by Thomas Merton, and was struck by their repeated warnings against pride and to control your tongue. Before going there, I was, quite honestly, livid about this whole thing but it seemed that God was speaking to me through those words. This was only reinforced this morning by a conversation with the church planter who had a long talk with the SP yesterday about it all. He recommended that I be contrite and listen to what they have to say with an open heart. I'm willing to do that - I want to do that. But at the same time, the way this whole thing is being handled - not just the Sunday meeting, but the follow-up too - is just wrong. And that bothers me. It bothers me that a set of parents that are admittedly "psycho" (in the SP's own words) can launch this kind of firestorm. It bothers me that I was ambushed at that meeting with the SP's full knowledge & consent. It bothers me that I'm being talked about behind my back. And from what I gathered from what the CP told me about his conversation, it bothers me greatly that a lot of this criticism is based on falsehood and misrepresentation. It bothers me that I have not been afforded the chance to defend myself or answer these accusations, because if I know this staff, today is not going to be about that. It also bothers me that the glowing reports from other parents are apparently not being taken into account. I want to have a godly attitude towards this, to accept the Lord's discipline, but I don't think I can just let all of this slide - it needs to be addressed if only so it doesn't fester inside me. I just hope I don't lose my temper because this has gotten me more angry than I've been in years.

Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.

1 comment:

Chris T. said...

It sounds like you're going through a pretty rough time. Unfortunately, even (sometimes especially) church folk can fail in their obligation to love others.

One thing to keep in mind is that all the humility stuff you read in the Gospel (and in Merton, who's a great one) is not just a sacrificial, love-your-neighbor kind of thing. It's also pragmatic! It may burn you up inside to be contrite and hold in your temper during these meetings, but you are going to come out the better for it. And keep in mind it is a powerful opportunity to preach to your colleagues and these families about humility and Christian love without ever opening your mouth. Let love and respect for these folks pour out of you during the meetings, and that love will show up in them, too.

Good luck. I'll keep you in my prayers.