I’m at a General Assembly Mission Council (GAMC) meeting right now – basically, the board for PCUSA. At the moment, I’m sitting in the hotel room in the dark while both babies are miraculously snoring (I know it won’t last) and Andy is out with a good friend for catch-up over a locally brewed beer. I figured he’d done a great job as Mr. Mom while I sat in meetings doing something amazing called Having-Conversations-With-Other-Adults, I thought I might as well let him play a little. I’m pretty cozy so I can’t complain.
I gave the opening devotional on Wednesday and talked about aspen trees, the babies, and Good Morning America. GMA does a series periodically called “Your Three Words.” People send in videos or pictures of themselves holding up something that shows their three words for the week, for their life, for their dreams, for whatever, but usually around a theme. Everything from “THANKS FOR CARING,” to “BE A DONOR,” to “WE GOT SNOW.” I love how much life is packed into three tiny words. So, I invited the folks during the devotional to pick three words that would speak to them about faithfulness, and write them on the back of a postcard that had leaves, and hold onto the card as a reminder throughout our meetings.
I didn’t get a chance to write anything at the time. But as I sit here and think about all the conversations and decision-making around Special Offerings, Peacemaking in the Middle East, 1001 worshipping communities, $$$$$, mission, and vocation, my three words suddenly emerge: Trust each other. There’s something about this that’s so deeply rooted (pun intended) in community and connection that I can’t escape the necessity for it. Trust. It’s something so incredibly hard to do sometimes – to, in essence, give oneself over to someone else, to God, to spouse, to family, to your team, to your church…To allow that other to handle your fragility and vulnerability, to allow that other to even possibly make a mistake that hurts you, to allow that other to make a difference in you.
And sometimes it’s really simple. Like, tonight when we were trying to decide to go to the group dinner – a very swanky dinner and time of worship together. I had planned on going with Andy and the babies. But they were fussing about 10 minutes before we left. OF COURSE THEY WOULD BE FUSSING. And Andy said he should just stay back with the babies so they could sleep soon, and I could go without worrying about them. But, I trusted myself more, and said, Let’s just go and see what happens. I really wanted Andy to see Dave Davis, and for him to see the babies.
We went and stayed for around 30 minutes. Before we could even dig into the salad course, I could see that Andy was right from the beginning. They were crazy tired. And letting everyone know just how much. So we packed up and left. Another lesson in trusting your teammate, your partner in life, especially the father of your children who was really in the baby-zone. Trust means I don’t make decisions alone.
These are dynamic times in the church – with the recent passage of 10-A (amendment in ordination standards) and nFOG (new governance), as well as ECO (alternative denomination) – and I can’t imagine a more challenging call for me personally – Trust. Each. Other. Be honest. Be engaged. Be humble. Be open. Be gentle. Most of all, be hopeful.
Because no matter what the differences or conflicts, no matter what the season, we’re in this together.