Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mrs. Pastor

Is this what a good pastor's wife looks like?
(It's actually the American poet Anne Bradstreet.)

Today I stood with Josh in front of a congregation as he told them he was honored to accept their call to be their pastor. The tall windows welcomed light and air over the wooden pews and the generations scattered among them. A vase of sunflowers at the side of the platform gathered and shouted that yellow light back to the general glow. I felt myself smiling as I watched him, and humbly proud. 

I do not know, really, how to be the life-partner of a full-time solo pastor. I know how to roll a pie crust, how to deconstruct a poem, how to teach the argumentative essay. I know how to stitch a seam, how to brew a pot of tea, how to balance a checkbook, how to address an envelope meant for another part of the globe. I know how to find most sorts of information on the internet, how to grieve a precious loved one, how to pack up a life and move across miles, borders, even oceans. But I'm not sure what it means, for this five-foot-seven-inch-tall human being tanned by long walks in summer sun, with strong corrective lenses and a profound longing for beauty and justice and peace, to stand beside another human being (five-foot-eight) who bears the primary responsibility for the spiritual oversight of a flock of precious people, one-hundred of them or so, of various ages and interests and needs.

I want to do this well. This is my testament: I want to do it well. I want to do it with humor and sympathy, with patience, with healthy boundaries and minimal anxiety. I want to do it with the confidence of fearlessness, of integrity, of honesty. I want to help where it is right for me to help and to stand back, in my own space, in my own responsibilities and joys, when it is right to do so.

I suppose this little bit of writing, then, is a record of this day. I suppose it is also a request, an asking, for those of you who pray to pray, or to light a candle, or to breathe (with unconditional breath / the unconditioned air -- that's Wendell Berry) in hope for me, for us.

Thank you.

1 comment:

  1. I am so proud (the right, humble kind), and prayerful, and just purely happy for Josh and Mrs. Pastor. Somehow, this just seems right & wonderful.