October 18th, 2003


Saturday morning orientation

A half-moon and stars greeted me as I walked to Victrola this morning. Although I'm a persistent fan of grey days, the sight of a clear, starry sky in the midst of the city stirs me in a special way. The Hunter stands at the ready, seemingly unaware that a scant hour or two will banish him again in a wash of light.

Had to look back at my journal to see how long it's been and where I've left off. Unlike many pauses here, there's not much darkness behind this one, not even a great clamor of overwhelming busyness. Things are still clipping along, of course, but it's nice to have some of the pressure of last week relieved.

Earlier this week, three artists who church attendees wrote me with the idea of getting together a church artists cooperative and leasing some studio space across the street from the office. Initially skeptical, as I often am, but when God saw fit to have all three cross my path within an hour of receiving their email, and also let me tour the prospective space with two of them, He got my attention. Not sure what He's up to, but it's a good concept– Christians communally engaged in the creative process reflect His glory in a powerful way. Our church's vision is to see the city of Seattle look more and more like the City of God by the transforming power of the gospel. This might do just that.

Now that we've called a pastor, our church's transition enters a new stage. For many it's hopeful, but for some it is laden with fear. The grieving process for Dave's eventual departure is neither simple nor necessarily short, and it's easy for us to get that hurt confused and wrapped up in the incoming pastor's call. They aren't related, however, except in the fact that, by faith, I believe that God has called John to be here for our future and is calling Dave elsewhere. Just as with our prior pastor's deposition, I find myself ahead of the curve in coping and grieving, which is helpful in serving but challenging in being with others as they seek peace. Staff dinner at Dave's last night had an awkward moment or two, something I just need to accept as part of the road ahead.

How we experience grief and fear is related, I think, to our past experiences and losses. For some, the changes we find ourselves facing are disconcerting, shaking, and in some ways connected to old wounds and unfinished business with God. For me, this is simply far from the deepest loss I've suffered and far from the scariest circumstance I've been in.

There are blanks and questions, to be filled with fear or with God. Need to be praying the latter for myself and my church.
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