I’m working on a paper proposal for an upcoming conference at my alma mater. The topic fits in the general Renewal theme of my life and my work. And a former professor has been doing cartwheels and handstands, encouraging me to write a proposal.
As I start to write, however, I am battling a host of issues that are making me second-guess myself. Yesterday I shared my concerns with my Bearded Spouse, and he looked at me and said, “so far, none of your ‘objections’ are going to do anything other than make an arguement FOR your doing this.”
You see, there are factions at Old Whoopin’ U who are tolerant of women in ministry, as long as women “aren’t in charge.” (I always want to smack them and say, “Um. God’s in charge. And God is neither male nor female.” But I don’t think it would necessarily be helpful to a continuing dialogue.) It’s fine that complementarians are around… but truthfully I have little patience for the long-winded, I’ll-keep-talking-until-you-agree kind of arguments. (Which is also why I hate the political season we are in. But I digress…)
There’s also a risk in moving into a public venue with my work and my thoughts. I’ve watched other progressive women pastors, speakers and teachers get slammed by comments on blogs, on journal articles, even on Amazon! I don’t know if I have a thick enough skin. These things get to me.
There’s the intimidation factor. I feel like a country bumpkin. I survived Greek. I have NO Hebrew skills left. (I have a computer lexicon and I know how to use it. Sort of.) Most of my work and study is of a practical nature. I haven’t met a patient yet who wanted me to discuss Aorist tense or middle voice. Really. And just because you can, is it kind if you do?
Finally, there’s the question of how to articulate how God uses me as a chaplain. It is a ministry of the Holy Spirit, to those who believe and those who do not. In the middle of deep sorrow and grief, in times where there are serious doubts and uncertainty, God shows up. I’m just along for the ride.
So I stew. And read. And pray. And think. And continue to write. As a fellow RevGal says, “You don’t have to listen. I just like to talk.”