Monday, November 29, 2004

Buechner on Ministry

During our visit to Wake Forest, Dr. Bill Leonard, the dean of the Divinity School, quoted Frederick Beuchner's Book, The Alphabet of Grace. There is a paragraph toward the end of the book that describes a call into ministry. It moved me to tears during the luncheon, so I thought I would post it here.
"I hear you are entering the ministry," the woman said down the long table, meaning no real harm. "Was it your own idea or were you poorly advised?" And the answer that she could not have heard even if I had given it was that it was not an idea at all, neither my own nor anyone else's. It was a lump in the throat. It was an itching of the feet. It was a stirring in the blood at the sound of rain. It was a sickening of the heart at the sight of misery. It was a clamoring of ghosts. It was a name which, when I wrote it out in a dream, I knew was a name worth dying for even if I was not brave enough to do the dying myself and could not even name the name for sure. Come unto me, all ye who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you a high and driving peace. I will condemn you to death.
I can't emphasize enough what an amazing experience this has been for me. I hope this quote helps all of you understand just a little bit more.


Anonymous said...

This is from your mom. I am sitting here crying because I am so proud of you, Ijust read this to your dad and he and I both feel so blessed that our Father in heaven wants you in service for Him. Never never doubt that. We love you and Gay so much! Hope you feel better tomorrow. Love you heaps!

Parson Marguerite Earhart said...

Hello Rev. Gil:
I am moved by what I read here in this post. I'm new to the ministry - but have been on an adventure for awhile with the Lord. I'm going to try to pick up this book, and will look forward to reading it. Many Blessings on your adventure.