The Two Most Spiritual Things I Did Today



Rake Leaves.

Play Euchre.


An Explanation:

Rake Leaves. It continues to amaze and delight me what a means of grace just being outside in my yard is. Both from the sense of Creation Care and the Neighborhoodiness of it. I love how when we are outside conversation just happens. Cloey plays with Adam across the street. Sarah and Kathy and Tarri strike up a conversation. I help Marilyn with her leaves. We wave at other neighbors passing by. Life is good (leaves… well, not so much). Thank you Jesus for the sacrament of yard work. Thank you for showing up.

Play Euchre. First off if you don’t know what Euchre is then truly your life is less than full. Really. Go now and learn. Start here. Then go find somebody from Indiana, Ohio, or Michigan. Now that you’ve been educated… Tonight Pam and Doug down the street hosted a Euchre tournament and 5 other couples (Sarah and I included) came over. Older kids watched the younger. Beer, wine, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, coffee, Coke, cake, cookies, shrimp, artichoke dip, spinach dip, chocolate-covered strawberries…. oooo my. Good times. It was such a wonderful time of getting to know our neighbors! Playing cards should be included in the cadre of “Best Practices” for pastor-types. It allows for common space to be created – space that fosters conversation, slow-ness, thoughtfulness, and heck… FUN! Thank you Sweet Sacred Spirit for the sacrament of card playing. Thank you for dealing us in.

Which reminds me….

Today at the Emergent Co-hort Rob Lewin asked me “what I did in VC”… the leadership role question. First off, I must admit that he shares the gift with Jim Henderson and Jason Evans….. the question asking gift that cuts to the quick. Its wonderful. It annoys me. All three of those afore mentioned folk intimidate me for that very reason! Silly, perhaps, but true.

So, he asks. I say, “communal spiritual director” … which is shorthand for how (in my mind at least) I have begun to see/conceive of my role in the Body. So he asks, “what does that mean?” Figures.

So I open my mouth and nothing much worthwhile comes out. Lovely. Way to represent!

But no, really! I really do mean that… I DO see myself as a “communal/corporate spiritual director”! And now that I’ve had a chance to think about it some more, here’s what I think that means:

– I create space.
– I tell stories.
– I encourage people.

So far, that’s what I’ve come up with for my self-imposed job description. I create space for people to encounter God and one another, to explore mission and ministry, discover Kingdom and Spirit. I tell stories of people loving neighbors, planting churches, visiting the sick, being with the poor. I encourage people along the way with words of hope, blessing, peace, and purpose. I really mean that. That is how I conceive of what I do in VC. Yeah, I pastor. Yeah, I lead. I don’t dis-count those things…. but they come with a lot of baggage that sometimes gets in the way of doing the stuff.

I really want to do the stuff.

Hopefully this self-imposed job title/description helps us do it. If not then I’m sure someone will let me know! But at least it helps me. It helps me see that my role in this community is vital and important, but not overly vital or dangerously important. It keeps me leading well without false humility or vain conceit (which a wise man cautioned me to look out for today).

I really want to read Merton’s book on Spiritual Direction…. anybody got a copy I can borrow (Alan, oh Alan???).

Ok, enough for now… too long as it is. Excitement building for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday…..


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