Feed My Sheep: Restoring my Soul

This week I’m at Princeton Theological Seminary as an Engle Preaching Institute Fellow.  Part of my experience is sharing this learning experience with my Roundtable Group of other women clergy, aka the RevGals. Our group’s name expresses what we have come to understand is essential to our longevity in ministry: Feed My Sheep: Spiritual Care for Women Who Bring the Word.

When I think of serving God by serving others, I realize how badly I need the tender care of God’s Love. I need the shepherding, guiding Hand of God. That Hand is not exclusively referred to in masculine identity/gender. “God as She” is a growing part of my experience and my theology.

Maybe that’s why I love this rendering of the 23rd Psalm…

Psalm 23, Bobby McFerrin

I’m listening and absorbing the reality of how proclamation of the Word of God is a restorative act for the listener, but most of all, for the Preacher.

LoveisLoveis

 I cannot preach what I do not know, personally, instinctively, intuitively, emotionally, viscerally, and spiritually about God.

 

 

 

You might not think about it that way… but I cannot preach what I do not know, personally, instinctively, intuitively, emotionally, viscerally, and spiritually about God. To preach what is on my heart, borne out of my own personal journey of joy and pain. To give myself permission to lament, to cry, to question, to speak truth instead of accepting that “sad things” are too hard (in other words, not always just shutting my mouth… but speaking up!)

There are times I am called to preach, and other times to be silent. Sometimes, I get it right. Sometimes, I open my mouth to change feet.

But in a time of sorrow, the kind that sinks deep into my heart and my bones, that takes away my appetite and wrecks my sleep? Mostly, I just want companionship.

I might want company.
I do not want words.
I might want to vent.
I don’t want platitudes.
I want to be heard.
I don’t want to hear a counterpoint of conversation to my anger.

I might just want…
SILENCE.

YES. Even I, the extrovert, the energized, the ESFJ, the Entrepreneur and Energizer, needs time to allow the Shepherd to restore my soul…

 

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