One of the things I hoped for when I graduated from seminary in May was some more time. Time to rest. Time to read. Time to reconcile relationships. The intensity of completing a 90+ hour degree in three years made it impossible not to strain relationships, not only because I was changing professions and my life’s direction, but even more so because I had to skip out on life events of friends and family because there just simply wasn’t enough time.
I wanted to make a concerted effort to try and reconcile and repair those relationships and for the past six months, I have been trying to do just that. It takes time to do that. Time to listen rather than reproach. Time to linger rather than rush. Time to schedule rather than be scheduled. It’s not easy, especially with the bi-vocational life I lead, but it’s so important.
There are still many times I will find myself at theological odds with family and friends; however, although I have spent three years and countless hours dedicating myself to develop and form those theological ideas, none of that time matters if I can’t live and enact those theological ideas with the people whom I have spent my life growing and learning.
Our rhetoric is so full of black and white and dissension rather than peace that there has to be another option. There has to be an effort on each end of the theological spectrum to find some kind of common ground. This doesn’t mean compromising what you believe, but it does mean seeing each other as human beings and not as enemies. It means offering love rather than hatred working together to offer hope to those so full of hopelessness.
For me, this is essential to my ministry. Even when people question my calling as a woman pastor, even when people call me names, still I pray my response will be one of love and peace.