Think of us in this way, as servants of Christ and stewards of God's mysteries. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. I do not even judge myself. I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive commendation from God.
~1 Corinthians 4:1-5
I left yesterday on the train to go to Philadelphia. It's been one of those
weeks months years that leaves me restless and needing to just go, even if for just a little bit. So I hopped a train with vague plans and just went.
I am always surprised how 24 hours can feel like a lifetime, and when I rolled back in on the train this afternoon, it seemed impossible that it had only been yesterday. The cats, too, informed me that I had been gone an awfully long time.
I found a cookie shop that is open until 3am. They keep the cookies warm and will deliver. There's a tiny counter space you could sit at while you eat their cookies. I just took them on the run.
Precisely, I had a white chocolate macadamia, a peanut butter, and a M&M.
You can get what you want. Do you.
I found a fantastic view at sunset:
and after I fulfilled an old promise to a friend, it was late late night:
And maybe I was tired and discouraged because it was late and I was lonely.
And I was overthinking everything, as I am wont to do.
But there was this:
and I was reminded that I am not alone in the night.
Oh, how I love cities at night!
I walked and I walked and I overheard and saw so many things!
A man walked by on his cell phone
"WHAT?? You're going to leave me just for THAT??"
I thought, from his screaming, that it was probably for more.
A woman, keeping her distance from her man.
He said, "I'm gonna beat you til you pass out."
She snorted, "I wish you WOULD, old man."
And they danced down the sidewalk like that
I don't understand how they sleep naked next to each other.
A drug deal in the making over a cell phone.
Two people making out on the sidewalk.
I don't know if they'd been screaming at each other earlier
but it looked like everything was working out now.
I envied them a bit.
Although it was too cold for my taste.
tourists, blissfully ignoring it all
A man ran at me
"Hey man! Excuse me, sir!"
And then he stopped
"I mean ma'am! Hey lady, do you got $10?
I just need $5. If you got a 10, I got 5 back."
I just had a 20
I didn't wait around for change
Plus, I was still eating my cookies
I hope he went and bought cookies.
maybe he likes the oatmeal raisin
although I can't imagine why anyone would.
Oh, City of Brotherly Love,
how I love you!
But not for your manifestation of agape
no matter what you call yourself.
Philadelphia is a beautiful mess.
In the morning I saw an old friend and got caught up
And maybe we were better friends now over breakfast
than we ever were when we didn't have breakfast together
how can you not be friends with someone who breaks bread like this with you?
That's pork hash on handmade tortillas with an egg & assorted goodness.
Sabrina's was the place
my my how 5 years can change people
I'll have to ask him if he felt the same
I left town so weary. It's been a bit of a rough patch. I work for three churches and 2 college campuses. I am pulled in 500 directions at once, and most days people project onto this "blank slate" called "pastor" all kinds of needs, wants, hopes, dreams, expectations, disappointments, desires, frustrations, rage, delight, dreams. I am your daughter, your wife, your Auntie Sue. I am the friend who betrayed you, the lover who left you, the second grade teacher who shamed you for reading aloud poorly. I am the best pastor you ever met. I am the worst clergy person you could possibly imagine--in fact I am singlehandedly bringing the church to it's knees and dealing the death blow. I am the savior of the youth group.
If only I would ______ your life would be ________.
Except I am none of that. And on my best days (which are few), I refuse all of that. I hop down from the pedestal and pass the flask. I remind you (gently, I hope) that I am not your sistermotherloverdaughter. I remember, when I can, that I am not the savior of anything. I remember, when I can, that my foibles and flaws are not capable of destroying the universe.
On my worst days (which are so very many)
I am so certain that it is my responsibility to be
the most feminist woman
the queerest queer
the saintliest mother
the most anti-racist white woman on the planet
a better housekeeper
oh, the list goes on!
and so does the list of my failings!
My single greatest success in the last year is this:
For years I have misplaced my keys every time I walk in the door
I have lost hours to the search for my keys.
20 minutes to find them
x 3 times a day
x 7 days a week
= 7 hours a week
364 hours a year
let's say 25 years since I started carrying keys
plus 5 leap year days
minus let's say 25 weeks of vacation when I didn't care about keys
minus 6 months maternity leave when I didn't leave the house
= 8762 hours = 365 days = 1 year
1 year of my life looking for keys
plus an hour to make this calculation
I found a place to keep my keys
I've been sticking to it.
I've only lost my keys twice in a year
it's a bloody miracle!
And when I can remember that
that my single greatest accomplishment was to find a place for my keys
then it doesn't matter how awful you think I am
cuz I just fixed a major problem in my life.
and it doesn't matter how great you think I am
cuz this wasn't brain surgery, and the cats had it figured out before me.
I ain't all that.
I'm more than you think.
God forgive me for trying to be more.