Tuesday, November 6, 2007

WWJDWTC - 4 Week Update

Since I decided to walk away from the wreck of my life in the institutional church four weeks ago I have actually done some things. I have had lunch (by myself) and then dinner (with Husband and her husband) with a follower of Jesus that I met at the bank where I bank. We also invited out another couple for dinner who have been severely abused by their CLB. I met her online after she left a comment on my blog and we found out that we only lived about an hour and a half away from each other. I have also visited the diner where my daughter works three times now. I have talked to some of her friends, her boyfriend and met some others.

So how did it go? In all of the encounters there has been a feeling of…..ineptness. I have a hard time coming up with the right word. But the word inept I think describes it best. I feel inept. For the first time in my life I really don’t have a plan for any of these lives. They are not coming to my preplanned program. I have no time to prepare anything. I feel inept to be a friend to the bank lady although I would love to. It seems like such hard work to even get together without all the crutches of church life. When we have, it has been wonderful. God seems to be present. I walk away encouraged. I think she does too. Our stories are fun to share. But what do we do now?

In the dinner with the couple that I met online, I felt like I walked away more encouraged than I left them. They were wonderfully warm. It was healing to share our story and hear theirs. I wish I could come up under them and help them bear their hurt. They truly understood when I described getting an invite back from my daughter’s wedding from a formerly dear, dear friend and having a Zero placed in the “How many would be attending” line with no explanation. They understood the hurt and pain and that was a salve to my heart. But I felt inept at helping them bear their own pain. Maybe just having someone who understands the feeling is enough for now. I can do that.

In the late night visits to the diner I have felt the most inept. Here I am, the mom of one of the waitstaff – sitting and drinking coffee for a few moments. I got to talk to one of her friends who is on his way to San Francisco to try and find some sort of happiness. I asked him a little about his plans and wished him well. Mostly I was interested for a minute in his life. I walked away feeling that it was one of the most awkward conversations that I have had with him and wondered if my going there was really of any value. But a few days later another daughter told me that she had run into him and he said how great it was to talk to me and actually had tears in his eyes. From what he told her she thought that we must have had this wonderful heartfelt conversation. (He must have been remembering another conversation than the one I was a part of.) So maybe my time there is less inept than I thought. We will see. I won’t give up yet.

I never felt inept at running a program. When I invited people to my “thing” (whatever it may have been) I was pretty good at it. I could run a program. With people I feel inept. But really that may be a good thing because if they come away with anything I will know it was a God thing and not a Me thing.


traveller said...

It occurs to me that with programs we are in control of ourselves, the others, the outcome...at least for the most part. Programs also allow us to have specific objectives that we achieved (or believe we achieve) in the time we have for our program.

When we rely on the Holy Spirit to work through our conversations together none of these things exist. It is totally out of control, at least our control. So, why should it be surprising that there is a sense of ineptness as we learn to live "out of control"? I think this is quite normal and was a part of my experience. As time passes you will become more comfortable with allowing the Holy Spirit to work and blow as he wills. The story of the young man you had the brief conversation with is a perfect example. We often do not know the consequences of our conversations but that is okay. I encourage you to stay the course.....you are on the right one....it will become easier and more enjoyable as you release those conversations for Father to do as he wills without expectations...

Susie said...

I like to listen to people, to give them space to tell who they are and what they believe. In the past, though, guilt always nudged at me because I was listening more than I "shared the gospel" or I didn't have all the right answers. Now I'm beginning to think I had it right all along.

You are not inept; you are able to be present and that presence is healing. I think that the space we can make for people when we are available and present is a space that God enters into and that He works through it in some mysterious way.

Erin said...

In my opinion you have just described what church means. Listening, talking, caring. Not needing to have an answer or a plan. People just want to be loved.

It's been hard for me, too, because I don't feel like I'm really helping anyone -- which when in the church proper is what we are taught is the prime directive: help people so we can get them saved.

But then once in awhile I find that something small I said had a big impact. So I trust the Spirit to provide the right words, even if they seem inept to me.

abmo said...

Ineptness, a good place to be.

Enjoy the journey!!

Sue said...

See, despite you feeling inept, you would be the type of Christian I would find myself drawn to if I was sitting having a coffee with you because your agenda wouldn't be stinking the room out and making me unable to see you. Ineptness is good :)