Sunday, February 11, 2007

Vacation Anyone?

Hard to describe where I am these days. The New Year started out with a bang, but the dust has settled, and I'm not sure if I'm standing amidst the ruins with which to mourn or a pile of construction supplies with which to build. My church, with all its wonderfulness is a place of great stress. My home, with all its love and beauty is a never-ending responsibility. My free time, with all its... well... freedom, is boring and aimless. Still, there are those moments where something bigger is at work.

Like last night.

A guy I've only met once - at a funeral of all places - called me. I'm not real sure how he got my number, but he called, and for some reason I answered. He spoke in a choppy, breathy tone, leading me to believe he was at best upset, and at worst suicidal. His thoughts weren't real clear, and even he was aware of this fact. After a few minutes of rambling, he finally shared, "I... I'm not sure why I called. I just needed someone to talk to, and I thought you'd be good."

After he stated that, things started to clear up quite a bit. He was, in a word, broken. His friend, at whose funeral we first met, had just passed, and with his passing came a whole new flood of confusing thoughts and emotions. After talking for a while, it became clear to me that this guy was just afraid. In light of the loss of his friend, he wondered what was next for him. The stark shadow of reality had temporarily caused an inner eclipse in his soul.

Now, I don't claim to have a quick fix for that kind of struggle. I just listened and nodded, as only someone who understands eclipses could, and I offered my thoughts when asked. At the end of our conversation we prayed, and I asked that God would bring peace, as He has many times in my life, to this wounded brother's soul. Before he hung up, he asked if he could call again, " know, if I need to talk sometime." I assured him that would be fine. Then he said, in the most gracious of ways, "You're truly touched by God."

Well, that had to be it. I can't even figure out if I'm in a good place or not, but this hurting acquaintence-turned-friend concludes that I have the touch of God. I guess the only thing that I can conclude from all this is that God uses us regardless of how we feel. We don't somehow turn on God's usable switch when life is good, and turn it off when we're feeling kind of blah. God determines when and how He will use us, and sometimes it's right in the middle of our most useless moments.

It's just good to know, in times like these, that there is no vacation from following Christ.

1 comment:

ryan said...

I've said it before. I'll say it again: You're one hell of a pastor, Stevo.