My Advent Meditations from Iona want me to think about how useful we are together -- as God's people. Is it heretical to laugh at your meditations when they challenge you like this?
Among the things that make me feel so far from useful: meetings, meetings, meetings, crappy staff dynamics, each and every appeal I recieve in the mail from non-profits, our church budget, the mental illnes of various church members that goes undiagnosed, the mental illness in my own family that no one wants to talk about, how I'm scared of this one church member after crappy staff dynamic exploded in my face, finding more faults in others than myself (this has become apparent in my mentoring relationship) and feeling like being a pastor requires you to be fat (or at least, that's how I explain my recent weight gain to myself).
And then, there's that rare moment where heaven is torn open. A family volunteered at the Soup Kitchen on Saturday night for the first time. They have two kids, 11 and 8. The 8-year old served milk. She operated the station flawlessly while asking her parents why there were so many people in the Soup Kitchen. She wanted them to be warm and loved. She wanted to invite all of them over for Christmas Dinner. The next morning, I asked her how she was feeling. She giggled. Not five minutes later, her father asked if she could come in and talk to me this week. She wants to "do more" and I said, "Of course, we can even go out for ice cream." (That's where the pastor gets fat, by the way.) Righ there, I felt useful. I felt God break through my frustrations. Right there, I got a little taste of the incarnation.