Moments of Clarity

There are moments when I wonder why I am a pastor. I get frustrated with denominational dilly-dallying, Presbytery pandering and session snarkiness. Sometimes I wonder if ministry matters. The world tells us that the church matters less today, or it matters in a different way today than it has in the past. Sometimes I get tired of the process, the budget, the need to over communicate, and the politics. Sometimes I can worry if my profession will become obsolete.

And then God gives me moments of clarity.

When I talk to children about Jesus dying on the cross and we draw pictures of heaven, and one little boy’s depiction looks like the set from “Dance Fever” and he tells me that heaven has a dance floor.

When an elderly woman walks out of the sanctuary, clutching her cane, with tears down her face because she is in such pain, and we stop right there and pray for healing.

When a small group gets together and there is absolute trust in the room and we talk about issues such as power and sexuality and death and the things that Jesus valued.

When we have a Bible study and we talk about Jesus giving us our daily bread, and there is an awareness that we all need to be fed with daily bread, and the question is asked, “how do I get fed?”

When children sing in front of the sanctuary and wave palm branches and a four-year old little girl spots her daddy and is so excited to see him she can’t help but blow him kisses.

When I visit the retirement home on Sunday afternoons and after worship we talk about receiving and giving help in a time and place when the body and mind are feeling are more helpless. And grace and listening happens.

These are my moments of clarity. It’s why ministry matters. It’s why the church exists. It’s a sacred community. A vow. A living experience. An invitation.

I’m pretty lucky to do what I do.


  1. Shelly, we are so lucky that you do what you do in our church’s midst. By your compassion and openness, you set the stage for the trust in the small group. Bless you for all that you are and all that you do!


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