So my summer season at the Pittsburgh Project is over. It was a challenging season, but very good. I feel like I grew and stretched a great deal. The bottom line of work like ours is that vulnerable people were loved, the Gospel was preached (though some missed it), and community was built even if only for a week or so. The hope in the midst of all this, my greatest hopes are that God was glorified and that I was useful in some way.
The other bottom line, at the moment is that I am exhausted. The mental, emotional, and spiritual marathon that has been the last six months (give or take) has had a pretty big toll on me. I'm looking forward to shutting my brain off for a few days in about a week. But first...
I have to retake the exegesis ordination exam. I'll get the exam questions tomorrow and I have to be done writing by Thursday morning. I'm not sure if it is the exhaustion or the season of ministry behind, but I am once again returning to my old thoughts of wondering if this whole ordination dealie is worth anything. It still feels like picking a side when the fact of the matter is that God wants us to be One as He is One. Now with that said, I have seen one major benefit of being in a denomination this summer; instant credibility (in select circles). The fact that I am pursuing PC(USA) ordination is a point of connection for a lot of folks that makes doing my job a little bit easier. Still, can I justify putting so much time, effort, and money into something that...never mind. If you've heard me talk at all, you've heard this all before.
Even working for an agency that has social justice at its heart, I am often confronted with whether or not I am doing enough. I rarely get my hands dirty. Though I may be gonig to Findlay, OH to help a group that comes to the Project on regular basis in the aftermath of the flooding. Still, I'm surrounded by need. Being overwhelmed by need and feeling exhasuted is a pretty awful combination.
It is a combination that reminds me, however, that I need grace. The kind of grace that allows me to take a nap in the boat while the storm is raging and the waves are crashing. The kind of grace that allows me to rest in the arms of people who aren't feeling the tired that I'm feeling. The kind of grace that reminds me that I'm not Superman. Or Batman. Or Aquaman. You get the point. Knowing I don't have to solve everything gives me the freedom to solve what I can and pray for what I can't, knowing that even what I can solve is only by God's grace.
I'm sure this is a point I will have to revisit over and over again. Those of us in ministry so often superimpose our faces over that of Christ and we need to be remind that He must increase and we must decrease. Somehow, when you're already feeling pretty small, that is a comfort.