The Jewel of the Seas

I just returned from a trip of a lifetime. With over 600 others, I toured parts of Italy, Sicily, Malta and Greece studying the Apostle Paul and his missionary journeys.  Two friends went with me, Cathy and Diane.  Cathy was my cabin mate.

On our first morning at sea, I left early for breakfast. When I returned, Cathy met me at the door of our cabin with a terrified look on her face.  While taking a picture from the balcony, she dropped her cell phone into the swiftly moving water.  She said it felt like Poseidon or someone else came up from the water and grabbed it from her hands.  She shrieked and the neighbors on the next balcony came running.

Can you imagine that moment? I immediately envisioned a final scene from the movie, “Titanic” when the older Rose tossed her blue sapphire necklace known as, “the heart of the ocean” into the sea. Do you remember the sound she made?  It wasn’t a scream. It was an “eh”, as if she was finally letting go of something that didn’t have the value she once thought.

Cathy began to rationalize.  Without her cell phone, she would have to experience the trip without trying to capture it.  That turned out to be profound. As I was constantly looking for the perfect shot, Cathy was taking it all in. She was listening. She was thinking. She was reflecting.

Sure, I got some great pictures.  I will have them for years to come.  Of course I will share them.  I just think there was a hidden lesson as Cathy accidentally relinquished her attachment to her phone at the beginning of our trip.  Maybe like the blue sapphire necklace, her Samsung became another “jewel of the seas”.  Ironically, that WAS the name of our cruise ship.

Cathy’s experience leads me to wonder what other jewels we might need to relinquish in order to truly appreciate the majesty of the moment.  For some of us, that jewel might be an addiction of some sort, the desire to win approval, the need to stay plugged in or the need to be right. Needless to say, we all have our jewels.  I have a number of them.  To be honest, I daily struggle to loosen my grip.  What are yours?

This Land is Your Land?

  Last week, I joined 17 others from my church on a trip to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Home to the Oglala Lakota people,  it is the poorest county in the United States.  Covering almost 3,500 sq. miles of windswept land and dusty plateaus, the landscape is breathtaking. Yet, it is hard to believe that “this land is our land”, as Woody Guthrie wrote and Pete Seeger sang.

You see, as settlers moved west during the 1800’s, the U.S. government negotiated a variety of treaties.  The Lakota people agreed to confine themselves to Pine Ridge (a reservation larger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined), in exchange for rationed goods and services.  Among other things they were promised health care, law enforcement and shelter.  Yet, take a look at some of these statistics gathered in the last few years.

  • 80-90% of residents are unemployed.
  • 30% of residents are homeless.
  • As many as 80% of residents struggle with alcoholism.
  • More than half of all adults suffer from diabetes and related illness.
  • Life expectancy is the 2nd lowest in the Western hemisphere;                          (only Haiti has a lower rate)
  • The teen suicide rate is 4 times the national average.
  • There are only 9 police officers for the reservation.

Friends, right here in the United States of America, we have a third world country. Some editorial writers call it a “fourth world” country because these natives are not getting any global economic support.  No foreign government is generating development.  Sure, there is a casino on the reservation.  As you can imagine, many people lose more money than they win.

Would you believe that there is only one grocery store on the reservation? It charges higher prices than Safeway in neighboring Rapid City.  So, many people find shopping at convenient stores a viable option.  After all, the lack of transportation on the “rez” complicates bargain hunting.

Shame on us! As much as I enjoyed this trip, I continue to spit and swear about the current reality in Pine Ridge.  Don’t get me wrong. There were some signs of hope.  I will share them in future blogs.  But, for now, I’m just heartsick.

Interestingly, on our team, we had a few teenage girls who loved to sing.  To pass the time away, driving to places of interest (Wounded Knee, White Clay Nebraska, Red Cloud Indian School etc.),  they sang whatever they could remember.

One afternoon they announced that they had sung, “This Land is Your Land”.  They were as unnerved by the experience as I. Yet, I don’t think they knew that the Woody Guthrie song was a protest song.  I bet they didn’t know that the original manuscript was a call to social justice and action.

Have you ever heard the verse that goes like this?

One bright Sunny morning in the shadow of the steeple,                          by the relief office, I saw my people.                                                                     As they stood hungry, I stood there wondering                                                if God blessed America for me.

For some reason, I can’t get that verse out of my head. If you’d like more perspective, please watch the movie, “Bury My Heart on Wounded Knee”. I found it on Amazon Prime.

 

 

 

A Different Educational Path

I was a traditional student.  Except for 2 years in private education, I attended the neighborhood public school. I walked to school, up hill both ways, in the snow. Like others, that’s the story I’m telling.

My parents expected me to succeed academically and stay on course. They encouraged my participation in extra-curricular activities  Still, I followed a well-worn path.

After high school, I went directly to college.  I wanted to go to a smaller school. My father insisted that I start at UNC.  Each kind of college experience had its particular advantages.  For the first two years, my parents paid my tuition and board in full. So, I yielded to their preference.

Of course, that was a long time ago when a college education was affordable.  That’s not true for a lot of people these days.  I’ll step down from my soap box and spare you my speech.  I graduated in four years contributing to my expenses with summer jobs.

That was back in the day before the internet, google, hotwire and cell phones.  I even remember writing letters to family and friends in cursive, on paper, putting them in envelopes with postage stamps.  Do you remember those days? Things have changed.

None of the four children I raised are traditional students.  There were gap years, military service, unpaid internships, online classes, global travel.  I can’t complain. Getting an education is much more complicated these days.  At the same time, their upbringing was more dramatic. Two of the four now have college degrees. Two are still plowing forward.

Thank goodness they have found a number of resources for financial assistance. First of all, they have tended to work year round, taking vacations when a break was needed.  When I was their age, I took fewer trips, but only worked in the summers.  Their exorbitant college expenses have been financed through parents, grandparents, scholarships, the GI bill,  grants, loans and a number of part-time jobs.  Like everything else, it has taken a village.

One day this past week, I got a call from my youngest son. He was walking on the beach in Phuket, Thailand.  Yes!  A month ago he was in Barcelona, Spain and Paris, France. As soon as his second semester ended at Ohio State, he started traveling before jumping  back  into summer school. He had worked many extra hours during the school year to afford it. It is his own version of “studying abroad”.

He didn’t book with some tour group.  He didn’t sign up for classes.  He just went without much of an agenda.  He planned to let his learning unfold organically.  Needless to say, our phone conversation was hysterical.  I heard about

  • language barriers,
  • over-crowded boats and taxis,
  • snorkeling with massive jelly fish,
  • ornate Buddhist Temples
  • playing soccer with school-aged children
  • a 4 ft. grouper
  • James Bond Island
  • tuk tuks
  • elephant sanctuaries
  • travel scams etc.

I am proud of his risk-taking initiative.  Don’t worry.  I limited my questions to stay within his “question quota”. Forever, I will be practicing to say, “tell me more”.

Here’s what I’m learning.  There are many different educational paths.  These days, students want more experiential classrooms.  Hopefully, my children will always find their joie de vivre as they gorge on wide-eyed, open hearted,  lifelong learning adventures.

Because of the internet, google, hotwire and cell phones, students have more access to opportunities and relationships.  For some of us, that seems like too much distraction. For others with decent boundaries and self-imposed limits, this technology opens a whole new world.

Again, things have changed. So must my imposition onto them of a more traditional way. I too am still learning.

 

 

 

 

 

How do you see yourself?

My next door neighbor is an ornithologist.  Do you know what that is?  He’s a bird man.

He and his wife are excellent neighbors.  We chatted about 10 days ago after their early evening stroll.  Dr. J had noticed my robin’s nest over my front door a few weeks ago.  I told him that the babies had already flown away.  “Now, I have a duck nest”, I bragged.  So they came over to see for themselves.

Almost immediately, Dr. J. rationalized that the birds were attracted to my condo because of the architecture.  Unlike theirs, my front stoop seemed less open. It seemed more protective. I guess one could look at that way. (Between us, I think he was jealous).

I, however, challenged him.  He is a bird expert, but I am a field agent of a different sort.  “I guess you can see it that way”, I offered.  “I see it differently.  As a pastor, I consider myself a midwife of new birth.  It’s a matter of perspective”. Dr. J. didn’t know what to say.

How do you see yourself?  It really makes a difference.

  • Beyond the classroom, are you a teacher? Then, you will attract opportunities to teach.
  • Beyond the hospital, are you a doctor or nurse?  Then, you will attract opportunities to heal.
  • Beyond the desk, or the sales floor, are you a sales person?  Then, you will attract opportunities to pitch big ideas.
  • Beyond the university, are you a student?  Then, you will attract opportunities to learn important things
  • Beyond the home, are you a mother or father?, then you will attract opportunities to nurture others.
  • Beyond the church or temple, you are a child of God; you will attract opportunities to act out your belovedness.

I have been out of town for the last 6 days.  I got home last night and when I arrived, I checked on Ethel, my duck.  Unfortunately, two eggs had been rolled away from the nest.  I assume they were attacked by a predator of some sort.

I told Ethel how sad that made me, but reminded her that she was still a good mother. This morning when I checked on her, she shifted long enough for me to see that six ducklings had hatched.

I’m thankful I got home in time. I texted with a friend this morning sharing the good news of birth.  He reminded me that Ethel had done all the hard work, not me.  In my profession, the same is true.  It’s not my job or my ability to take over the labor of new birth.  At best, I am a midwife, an encourager, a coach.

Again,  identity is a matter of perspective.  I claim that among other things, I am a midwife. I will continue to attract opportunities to encourage and coach. How do you see yourself?

All around us, we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs.  But, it’s not only around us; it’s within us.  The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs.  These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance.  That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother.  We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us.  But the longer we wait, the larger we become and the more joyful our expectancy.     Romans 8:22-25  The Message.

 

The Best Excuse to Blow-off a Work-out

In the last month or so, I went back to the gym on a fairly regular basis.  I got a medical diagnosis that motivated me to get more serious about my well-being.  Let’s be clear.  I’m no gym rat.  Thankfully, the diagnosis felt like court-appointed A.A. meetings. I had to get with the program, or else. Maybe that’s just what I needed because I lack the self-discipline to stay on track.

Basically, I’m extremely healthy.  Yet, I needed a wake-up call, as others of us do in helping professions.  It’s easier to focus on someone else.

Whether it is obesity, cancer, heart disease, depression or some auto-immune nightmare, many of us experience the consequences of not putting on our oxygen masks first, before  we help others with theirs.

Now I know that some people get high on endorphins.  I also know people who like to sweat.  Actually, I have one friend who calls sweat, “liquid awesome”. Give me a break.

I’m not one of those people.  Still, I found a trainer who is a former college athlete.  Her services were affordable- free! So, I couldn’t use the cost as an excuse.  Believe me, I have many excuses.

  • no time
  • pastoral crisis
  • a sermon to write
  • too busy
  • my gym clothes are dirty
  • I’ll eat less today
  • blisters
  • walking away from donuts should count for something
  •  I’ll work twice as hard tomorrow

Do any of these sound familiar?  The other day, however, I saw a post on facebook.  Unfortunately I didn’t save it.  Perhaps you saw it and can correct me.  It said something like this.

If I could change the nickname of the toilet from John to Jim, then when someone asked me if I was going to the gym that day, I could say, “I’ve already gone”.

All of this is to say, “I’m upping my commitment to exercise.  Up yours”.

 

 

The Wolf in sheep’s clothing

If you don’t know this, my dog is a war veteran. My oldest son adopted her from the mountains of Afghanistan.  Part Shepherd and part wolf, she was Marine-trained to keep watch.

Suffice it to say, she has a reputation as a bad ass. Every morning, at the break of dawn, she goes on patrol from my screened in porch.  She barks at strangers whom she does not recognize. She intimidates dogs who have not been properly introduced. She is prepared to go through the screen if she feels a significant threat.  She is my protector, my warrior, one of my best friends.

That being said, she has a story. Doesn’t everybody?  She was born in a war zone.  She learned to be overly alert and protective.  Frankly, she has post traumatic stress disorder.  Have you ever heard of that?

So do my two oldest sons who are also war veterans.  As a matter of fact, the whole family has it to some degree.  That’s what violence, intrusion, and the sudden death of loved ones leave behind.  Believe me. There are many military families like mine. Don’t get me started.

Some of you know from my recent facebook posts that my condo has become a haven for nesting animals. At the end of March, a robin built a nest on top of my front door. I adapted, using the garage or the back door as much as possible. I watched the eggs hatch, and eventually, the young birds flew the coop.

Then, a duck made a nest by the same front door and deposited 8 eggs.  I named the Mama duck “Ethel” and talked to her every day as if she belonged here.  I did the same for “Robin”.  Let me say, I used to live on a tiny farm.

My daughter raised ducks for a 4-H project.  We built a pen in a grove of pine trees to keep them as safe as possible.  We let out the ducks at least twice a day.  They would immediately take flight, circling our property three times.  Then they would land and expect us to chase them back to their pen. Heidi, our watchdog, loved their game.

Back then, Heidi would swim with them in our pond. To the ducks, she was not a bad ass, but part of the family. So, it didn’t surprise me at all that Heidi welcomed Ethel to our home.  Heidi was accustomed to ducks. In some odd way, she knew them as our kin. Then Mia, the golden retriever, showed up.

Mia is the darling dog of the community.   Because of her breed, everyone admires her.  Yet, she’s the off-leash blond bombshell who wants to take over the world.

Heidi, on the other hand,  is greeted with on-going suspicion. Because of her aggressive bark, she is labelled as a nuisance, one to be feared.  People have no idea what she’s been through. Neighbors have no idea that her bark is her cry for help. She is broken and overly-stressed. She is anxious and afraid. Like other war veterans, she longs to be accepted and loved. Could that also be true for other neighbors as well?

The other night, Mia was out and about.  As usual, she was the gentle and flirtatious  politician making the rounds, until she smelled the duck.  She charged the nest. Frantically, Ethel took off. I had to intervene.

In the meantime, Heidi was on lock down in the back yard. Because of her reputation, she was on the patio.  She was anchored by the gas grill, even as she lazily nested in the mulch nearby.

Mia is a sweet dog. There’s no doubt about it.  Perhaps, she just isn’t trained to be kind and welcoming to ducks. Perhaps she is so accustomed to being the center of attention, she doesn’t realize that there are other creatures in the universe who don’t want to be bothered.

Here’s my point. Beware of the “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” They can cause much anxiety and stress.  Here’s another point. Listen to the stories of others. Be gentle with strangers.  Give thanks for those who made sacrifices for us through service to their country.  Advocate for our veterans.  They deserve our kindness and respect, regardless of their species.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bedazzled Silver Lining

I am a cup half-full kind of gal.  I not only look for the “silver lining”, I bedazzle it. I bedazzle it with shimmering sequins and light-reflecting Swarovski crystals.  Don’t be a hater.  It just is.

I took a week’s vacation, starting Saturday morning.  My village of friends knows, for a variety of reasons, that I have the blessing of travel.  Yet, this time, I took vacation to visit with my extended family in North Carolina.  The visit was past due. There was my nephew’s college graduation.  There were doctors’ visits with my father, and a bank appointment with my mother.  So, why did I boohoo for almost two hours in the car, as I drove from one town to another?

I’ve been thinking about that.  I’m not sad.  Yet, I AM humbled.  Okay, I admit it. I am a sap.  I don’t cry often. For instance, I don’t cry at weddings or funerals.  I’m sure that is a professional hazard from being the one often in charge. Instead, my tears flow in unusual circumstances.

I cry when hard work is completed and well done.  I cry when people let down their guards and choose to be unusually vulnerable. I cry when I hear “Pomp and Circumstance”.  Of course, like so many others, I cry when I am sleep deprived and world weary.

Crying is a gift.  Though it gets a bad rap, it is the raw fruit cleanse for the soul.   Sure, crying lubricates our eyeballs.  It kills bacteria and removes toxins caused by stress.  It also points out the obvious.

We are human.  I don’t care if you call it, “leaky tear ducts, rain on your face, or salty discharge”.  Crying reminds us that we are not always in control.  It suggests that there may be more vibes in the universe for which we cannot take credit or blame.  Our tears are a message to which we need to pay attention.

So, I took a day away by myself and drove to the beach.  I wanted to pay attention. Unfortunately, a two-hour drive from my sister’s house became a five-hour drive after a wrong turn.  Don’t laugh.  I was lost in my thoughts as well.  Oh, the trials and trails on which I find myself!  Suffice it to say, I couldn’t get there fast enough. Yet, I had a lot of time to clarify the moans and groans spilling out from within.

Now what is it about the beach that brings us such comfort and calm?  Is it the chronic white noise of tumbling waves? Is it the long walk? Is it the extra dose of Vitamin D?  For those of us who grew up near the East Coast, is it the flood of good memories of family vacations, high school rites of passage, being with friends in a spirit of freedom and relaxation?  For people of faith, is it the soggy baptismal pull, like gravity, that draws us back to the tide of Divine approval and love?

The answer to the question is all of the above.  There is one more thing.

Do me a favor.  Look at the picture below and use your imagination.  Tell me what you see.  I see a silver lining, bedazzled with shimmering sequins and light-reflecting Swarovski crystals. How about you?

Even if that time apart took longer than expected to get there, it was worth it.   I listened to my tears. I gave thanks for them, and for everyone else around me who humbles me.  Looking at that water brought me back to my true self.

So, the next time tears well up and start dripping down your face, pay attention.  Accept your humanity.  Listen to the moans and groans from within.  Receive the gift of the cleanse.  Then, in your imagination, take those tears and bedazzle them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

When did This Mother Superior Pass Away?

Because I am a mother and a pastor, my children used to call me, “Mother Superior”.  As a matter of fact, that is how my youngest son would address my birthday and Mother’s Day cards.  Who was I to correct him? By the way, did you know that my middle name is Pope.  That is a fact.

For a Mom, so often torn between parenting and pastoring, that name “Mother Superior” was my favorite gift.  It was a dozen orange roses. It was breakfast in bed and a foot massage.  It was a home cooked meal prepared, served and cleaned up by somebody else.

In fact, Chris’ construction-paper cards addressed that way were his wink with a kiss.  I felt like it was his way of saying, “You’re no Mother Theresa, but your love for me is superior”.  I didn’t need anything else.  Then he grew up.

When Chris turned seventeen, things changed.  He began to separate from me.  He barely spoke.  He forgot to share his calendar. No longer did he have time for a shared meal.  I get it.  Self-differentiation is the work of adolescence.  Yet to say it wasn’t a struggle for me would be like saying that the Rock of Gibraltar is just another pebble.  Am I the only mother who went through this?

At some point, this Mother Superior passed away.  I don’t remember the exact date.  All I know was that I wasn’t even invited to the Memorial Service.

Before that, Chris and I would go out many Sunday nights.  It was just the two of us.   He would finish his homework, as he ate.  I would simply eat and offer my assistance if required.  I would take deep breaths after a long week.  Basically, we would re-connect after too many over-scheduled days.

However, during his senior year of high school, he did his thing; I did mine.  We barely spoke.  I don’t remember heated arguments.  I just remember silence, blank stares and the question quota.

That’s right. He thought I asked too many questions.  Can you imagine a mother doing that? Well, he thought I did. So, he imposed the question quota. I was only to ask so many questions before he shut down.

In my defense, I was still interested in his comings and goings. I wanted to know with whom he rode.  I wanted to know what he was thinking.

I didn’t ask questions out of suspicion, most of the time. I was genuinely interested. Looking back, I realize I was still craving the long talks. I craved his need for my help. I missed the invitation to scratch his back. Yet, he was growing up and growing away.

Chris is now 21.  He is a stellar son.  He is in college, figuring out his core values and passions.  Though I wish he called more, he participates in required family gatherings. For instance, this past Easter Sunday, he came to church for worship and the annual family photo. He didn’t growl or grumble. He was on time!

Yet, under his breath during Easter lunch, he muttered something about going to Europe in a few weeks. “whhaat”? I wanted to shout? Instead, I chose to be thrilled.  I refrained from asking ANY questions. I simply said with great joy, “tell me more”!

I said, “Wow! Clearly, you’ve been resourceful. It sounds like you’re pursuing one of your dreams”. I expressed pride in his initiative. Then, he showed me pictures and shared more details.

Yesterday, while I was at church, Chris called me from Barcelona, Spain.  With great animation in his voice, he shared some of the highlights from his travels.  He called ME.  He didn’t ask for money.  He simply wanted to share some of his comings and goings.

Maybe this Mother Superior had to die for a new relationship to rise. I hate to admit that. It was a slow death. The good news, however, is that the pressure has been lifted. These days I’m satisfied to be Mom.

What does partnership really look like?

I am sad to say that my partner in ministry for the last nine years, Pastor Tom, is retiring at the end of June.  We have been a great team: yin and yang, extravert and introvert, female and male. To say “it has been a great ride” is an understatement. At times, he has been my calm in the storm. At times, I have been the match that lit his feet on fire.  Tom has been my colleague, my pastor and he will forever be my friend.

A few weeks ago, Tom sent a letter to the congregation announcing his retirement.  It was well received. We are now busy trying to create a celebration worthy of his impact, yet subtle enough for his approval.

Shortly after his letter went out, I got an email from a church member.  He was sad to receive the news of Tom’s retirement, but ready to join the celebration for his ministry.  It was a supportive email and I appreciated receiving it.  It was the P.S. that made me chuckle.

He wrote, “P.S. after Tom retires, maybe you’ll get to be the Big Cheese”.

On paper, I am the Lead Pastor.  At first, I wanted to chalk up the confusion to sexism or age-ism.  Tom is older than I and has accumulated more years of service.  Still, I wanted to huff and puff, then burn my bra!  I immediately heard Helen Reddy’s song in my head, “I am woman, hear me roar”. It was followed by the chorus of “We shall overcome”.

Then I took a deep breath and decided to look at the comment from a different perspective.  Once I did that, all I could do was be grateful.  The truth is, I aspire to be a team player, NOT the Big Cheese. Let me explain.

I am an identical twin.  We are hilariously competitive and the very best of friends.  Growing up, she was the short stop when I played second base.  There was nothing sweeter than making a double play.  It was about knowing each other so intuitively that we had a rhythm that was successful most of the time.  Of course, there was the occasional over-throw and the dropped ball.  Let’s tell the truth. No partnership is perfect. Yet, isn’t that the kind of relationship for which we’re all striving?

Years ago, I was on Match.com.  Yes, I admit it.  I wouldn’t say that from the pulpit, but this blog is different. I intend to get real.

On my profile, I wrote, “I am looking for a short stop to my second base and a lifetime of double plays”.  It was pretty descriptive. Don’t you think?

You see, from the very beginning, I was created as a partner.

All of this is to say, I am sad to see my colleague retire from our partnership though I promise to love him forward.  It is also to say that I am proud that the lines of our titles were blurred.  It doesn’t matter who did what.  It doesn’t matter who got credit, or who specifically got the rare blame.  What matters is the partnership of symbiosis.  What matters is the mutual respect and the appreciation of each other’s unique strengths. What matters is nine years of double plays.

Do me a favor.  Look at the partnerships in which you are involved.  Do you have symbiosis?  Are the lines of leadership sometimes blurred?  Are you equally satisfied to lead and to follow?  Do you have mutual respect and the ability to forgive the occasional over-throw or dropped ball?

It’s time to look at partnership in a new way.

The Scabs of Humanity

Years ago, I ran into some friends at a local Wal-Mart. After catching up about kids and work, Lynn shared the strangest thing about her youngest son.  Earlier in the year, he had chicken pox and decided to save the scabs.  That’s right. He kept them in a medicine container on a shelf in his room.  It was his father’s idea.

When his son was whining about how he itched and couldn’t sleep, the idea was planted in the young boy’s mind. The dad said something about the scabs being “battle scars”, which would make a great visual for show and tell.  Kids love gross things.

Let me tell you.  After I quit laughing and gagging at the thought of chicken pox scabs, I remembered that I used to keep old plastered casts that had been cut off my arm or leg after it had healed.  I kept those casts on the shelf in the closet of my childhood home and had no problem bringing them out for my own show and tell.

I am sure I’m not the only one.  Have you ever known someone who kept his gall stones?  How about one who kept the braces from her teeth or the x-rays of broken bones.

As strange as it seems, here’s the truth.  We can only be fully known by our wounds. Scabs and scars are signs of our humanity. Think about it.  It’s hard to find a connection with someone who appears to have it all together. Frankly, I only feel some common ground with someone who has also been broken. Need I also say? Not all scars are physical or apparent to the eye?

Now, I’m not suggesting that we “let it all hang out”.  However, in my profession (ministry), we need to shift from being holier-than-thou to being more real. Granted, I wasn’t brought up that way.  Though it wasn’t spoken, we somehow learned not to share our “dirty laundry” in public. Subliminally, I grew up in an era when “image was everything”.

That’s changed. Maybe it’s not just my profession that is evolving.  These days, it appears that authority comes from authenticity, not title or expertise.  Have you noticed that?

We don’t have to share everything.  In fact, I would discourage it for bosses and leaders. However, instead of riding  high horses, let’s ride donkeys. Even better, let’s just walk or roll alongside those for whom we work and serve.

Let’s take a  look at leadership from a different view.