Nancy is a new member at Peace Presbyterian Church. One of my favorite things about being a pastor is hearing and sharing the stories of the people I pastor, and Nancy has been someone who has shared so much of her story with me, and with our church, over the course of the past almost two years. She is also generous with encouraging words and I have appreciated the time she’s taken to share words that not only are supportive and kind toward me, but demonstrate an understanding of who I am and what it is to be a pastor.
So last week, when I shared my last post (Pastors–They’re Just Like Us!), within a few days, Nancy had added these words as a comment to my Facebook post sharing the blog post. “Maybe I missed some of the point of your piece,” she began, but she had not. She had just captured another understanding of what it is to be a pastor. We talked about how both realities are true–pastors are both ordinary people (and in the Presbyterian Church, our polity highlights that) and also pastors are called and set apart for extraordinary ministry, as she notes in her post. I thought her words were kind and beautiful and asked if I could share them here
That’s a Little Bit Like Me by Nancy Miller:
Pastors are just like us, and yet —-They have stepped up and out in definitive public commitment to God. Often this commitment includes great personal sacrifice.That’s a little bit like me …
Pastors are just like us, and yet —-Their lives encompass so many more of the things I see Jesus saying to do ….And more often than not choosing another’s needs over their own. That’s a little bit like me.
Pastors are just like us, and yet —-They run into the fire, of the contentious meeting of elders or staff, to the heartbroken and downtrodden — often when they’d rather sit quietly with Jesus. That’s a little bit like me.
Pastors are just like us, and yet —-They hold vigil over the grief stricken and dying; the chronically ill and the newly divorced. They don’t give up, they don’t forget; often bringing it all home and spending nights in anguished prayer. That’s a little bit like me.
Pastors are just like us, and yet —They live with both feet in the kingdom of God. Often on their knees, or face, serving and loving and holding up the arms of those in their fellowship, and beyond. That’s a little bit like me.
That’s a little bit like me, the me I hope to be, as I see the reflection and image of Christ in the words they speak and the lives they live. Pastors are a light – shining with the love of Christ, in which we can better see the me we were created to be –And through it all, the joyful times and the trying times, they are an example of walking the path, that reveals to all the great message of every time: Christ in you the hope of glory. Thanks be to God!