Last February I was still in school, at the beginning of a semester, thinking about graduation and a wedding coming up, and the marriage that was going to continue to change me. I knew that I would probably be taking an appointment, so I thought I might get to work on preaching and worship planning. I knew that I was going to learn how to live with my husband. I figured I was going to learn some more about meal planning and cooking for two. All this in addition to the full semester of my final year at Divinity School.
But. Then I learned other things. Because, we all know life has surprises, and we expect them, but not really.
And then, in July, not even a month after taking my first charge, I miss a step and it turns out that I developed a whole new skill set that I had never thought I would ever need.
I learned to use crutches. I learned to take a shower while keeping one foot completely dry. I learned how to ask for help when I needed it, mostly, at least for physical needs. I learned what the definition of excruciating meant. I learned more about the body and how I have, or had, an extra bone that five percent of the population has. I learned how to get a handicapped tag for my car. I learned how to do everything with only one foot.
Most of these things, I have learned in the last month. But a few I learned before… Most will still need some work.
And, yes, I’ve learned all these things while remaining the pastor of two churches, and as a “newly wedded” woman. I’ve been working on building relationships and finding new ways to get around town, and figuring out just what goes into this thing we call Church.
There have been some ups and downs, more downs than I would like. Especially the first down, that started this whole ball rolling on my left foot.
But I wouldn’t give up what I have learned in the past year. I am amazed at this new skill set that I have acquired. Because, yes, part of it is the physical things that I have learned, but also, I have begun to learn how to be the shepherd of the Church, albeit a broken one.
Because no church is perfect. One thing I have learned in my life experience with specific churches and the Church as a whole is that we’re all broken. We live in a broken world, and we are a broken people. Our sin keeps us from being whole, no matter how hard we try.
My outward and physical brokenness is only a part of my brokenness. It’s the Church that keeps me together, and the brokenness that reminds me that I need deeper healing. A healing that only comes from the body of Christ.