This week at work has been a veritable smorgasbord of “drama…drama…drama!” And what church doesn’t love a good smorgasbord?
It’s the first week since the Fellowship broke up (our lead pastor has moved to another pasture) …and honestly, most of the “drama” relates to things that have no eternal value. For those of you who aren’t part of our circus, I have no doubt that my tales from the inner sanctum of the church office would be very entertaining. There are good days and bad days. This week had way more days when I felt like I’m in a cubicle of purgatory and I am sitting at the epicentre of it all. I work in the church office, which is basically the same as saying I work in the “family business”. Sometimes I feel overworked and underappreciated (but then, don’t we all?) There are high expectations, no boundaries, and an amazing ability for news to travel fast!
I could say that church families are like squirrels – quirky, perky and with a few hidden nuts – but I don’t want to offend any squirrels! And every congregation, like every family (and every organization), has a few common characters…
There are those who are near to God and some who forget they aren’t God.
There are those who are involved in everything and others who are involved in nothing, but are happy to share their advice on how it should be done.
There’s always a busy body, a bully, a prima donna, and someone more than willing to pick apart every little mistake you make. And there are amazing people who do things like this:
There are those that everybody loves for all the right reason!
There are those (often the sweet little old ladies and gentlemen) who are amazing actors in groups but “closet biters” (a.k.a. they let you have it when you least expect it and there are no witnesses)! Others openly parade crazy!
There are those who know everything and those who know nothing (and some who prefer it that way)!
And there’s always seems to be an ample supply of “drama”…just like family.
There are days when I’m surprised that I don’t hear more gnashing and wailing of teeth by the pastors from behind closed doors. I admire their ability to be gracious and loving when I am struggling to keep the disdain from dripping out my eyeballs and soiling someone’s patent leather shoes.
I hear voices and I cringe. Sometimes those voices aren’t in my own head. When I hear them, I want to yell “incoming” and dive under my desk for cover. It’s an odd form of spiritual warfare.
“You cannot say ‘no’ to the people you love, not often. That’s the secret. And then when you do, it has to sound like a ‘yes’. Or you have to make them say ‘no.’ You have to take time and trouble.”
– Mario Puzo, The Godfather
I want to scream (for some reason in a good southern drawl): “Y’all just need to get a grip!”
September is nearing an end and I am starting to squirm already because…
And with Winter – comes first the Christmas season, complete with a musical drama (and all the behind-the-scenes drama) and the annual compilation of material for the annual “Church Budget Gathering”. Then there’s the annual updating of the church directory, the annual distribution of tax receipts, and the compilation of annual reports before the annual “Church AGM Gathering”. There’s a lot to do…and it comes with lots of drama!
But I do it because I’m called to serve. I do it because I’m wired to be glue – to be the stuff under the surface that helps keep it all together. I do it because, deep down, I love these people (even the ones who require a little extra grace or are bat-crap crazy). They are my “family” – we may not have it all together, but together we have it all!
Including smorgasbords…and drama…