– Reflections from a spouse for ministers who support their communities during a season of funerals and tragedies
Clergy, beware the calling and tread carefully before you enter into its wake.
Beware the calling for it is disguised in nobility, in morality, in a desire to help and heal and save.
Beware the envy for your peers and their churches who appear to complain less, who exalt more, who demand less, for the mirage of greener grass.
Beware the neglect and the ease of how work can trump family, of the lie that they should just understand, that there is a sacrifice they must make for your calling, that all others can reach you at any time, lest you be negligent.
Beware the greed and a desire for the life not afforded to you, while those who determine your salary live in more wealth than they share.
Beware the lust for women, or men, who are vulnerable, who look at you with awe, who put you on a pedestal, who seem not to contain the troubles of this world.
Beware the pride of the tears in their eyes, of the laughter of their voice, of the admiration they pour on you, of the glamour of your status, of the fame and recognition.
Beware the apathy of the tragedies already experienced, but with another family, the dirt already spread over another casket, the weeping of a different mother, the shock of the loss of another child, the funerals already preached.
Beware the dark hands of depression — the shadows of grief, life lost, future erased, only the now and the pain, the tendrils that entwine and ensnare your being.
Beware the drugs that soothe and comfort whether it be the cold drink, the small pill, the fast car, or the attention from the crowd, that replace the frustration, the complication, the demands of you, from you.
Beware the lure of life not lived, of roads not taken, of doors not opened, of the chance to be someone else, to not be called.
Beware the calling for you are never the same, for you can never leave, for it will require sacrifice, for it will demand more than you think you can give.
Be thankful for the calling, for it is life. It is mercy and grace. It is your soul exposed. It is not from you but from the Other. It is redemption lived in front of others. It is your own life resurrected.
Embrace the calling. You won’t get out alive, but you won’t want it any other way.