Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Answering Authentically

“How’s your day?”

“Pretty good. You?”

“Pretty good.” 

Break this cycle by being honest about your life with your congregation, colleagues, and the random people you meet who probably have an incorrect idea about who clergy are. If someone were to ask me right now, “How’s your day going?”, my answer would be: 

“Well, we’ve got this dog, very sweet, very old golden retriever mix. She going deaf and going blind and is pretty senile, and doesn't always remember to go outside to go to the bathroom. This morning, while I was in the kitchen re-potting some nearly-dead orchids, the dog pees on the floor, and then slips and falls in it. I turn around, covered in dirt, to pick up the 40 pound dog, and realize too late that she is covered in pee. As I scramble to get her outside, leaving a trail of dog pee in my wake, the baby (who is sick and teething) gets curious and crawls into the kitchen and right through the dog pee. So now the baby, dog and I are all covered in pee, some of which has turned into mud from the dirt I was using on the plants. 

It’s too cold outside to hose the dog off, so after I clean up the baby and put him in the bouncy chair, I carry the dog into the shower and give her a bath, which gets hair everywhere. As the baby cries from not being included in the bath, covering his face in snot from his head cold, I carry the dog back outside so she can lay in the sun to dry. 

I clean up the baby again, go into the bathroom to clean up the mess and nearly throw up from the smell. After turning on the fan and emptying an entire can of Febreze into the bathroom, I go the other one to get myself cleaned up. Hubby can clean that when he gets home.

At this point, lunch time has long passed and I’m starving and exhausted. So I had wine and cake for lunch and am now watching Indiana Jones with the baby sleeping in my lap. It will be this way for the next few hours.”  

No matter how mundane our lives seem, we have stories. Just because we are clergy doesn’t mean we have perfect, smooth and happy lives, and the more open we are about the truth of our lives, the more able people will be able to connect with us and feel safe being open with us in return. 

Now back to my movie….. 

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