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The Sacred and the Profane, Part 2


introvert-walking

You who live in radiance

Hear the prayers of those of us who live in skin

We have a love that’s not as patient as Yours was

Still we do love now and then

Did You ever know loneliness, did You ever know need?

Do You remember just how long a night can get?

When You were barely holding on and Your friends fall asleep

And don’t see the blood that’s running in Your sweat

                                      Hard to Get – Rich Mullins

Sometimes I daydream.  Sometimes I imagine what it would have been like to have a conversation with Jesus in that garden as he left the disciples to go beg of His Father to call off the events of the next day.  Sometimes I wish I could walk along side Him and be of some comfort to Him in this most heartbreaking of times.

“What would you have said to me then?”

“I would tell you that I know I wouldn’t have been any more helpful to you then the disciples were.  I would be falling asleep right there beside them.  But I hate knowing that about myself.”

“Why?”   

“Because I love you.  Because I know my love is faulty.  I know my spirit is willing but my flesh is weak.  I know that my love is not as patient as Yours is, and yet I still love now and then.”

“What else would you have said to me?”

“I would have told you I wish I could be there with you when you cried out to the Father.  I would have told you I wish I could be there with you when you hung on that cross.  But that I also know I never would have.  If it was a time that God the Father Himself would have to turn His face aside.. a time that an indivisible God would have to become divided so that you can pay the price that I owed, then it was a time you had to be truly alone.  The very hell of the cross was that you had to be alone when you asked, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

“And yet I still wish it.  I wish I had been there with you to see the blood that was running in your sweat… just so you wouldn’t have to be alone.”

“But I know You were alone, so that I would never have to be.”

“I know that right to the core.”

The question has been asked about what’s in a name.  A rose by any other name… well, you know the rest.  So I often wonder what’s in my name.

Many people know me as my given name “Kevin”.  Some of those people have known me since I was a grasshopper.  There’s no hiding who I am to them.   A few know me as “Father Time”.  That’s a name of mine, but only to strangers on the Appalachian trail.   Many other call me “Pastor Kevin” as a sign of respect.   That’s a name of mine, but I haven’t been that shy to say it is a name I often hate being called.  It has a history.

During Bible College, while my heroes were men and women like Hudson Taylor, and Amy Carmichael and Jim Elliot and countless other missionary folk whose stories and lives inspired me to be like them, there was an angst I would battle against.  I belonged to a class where I didn’t exactly fit into.  That’s a common story for me.   There were a few bright stars that I still remain loyal to, but over all, it wasn’t my people exactly.  For starters, almost all of them were following the “Pastoral Track”.  A few scattered talented ones took the “Worship Leader” track.  A small group followed the “Teacher Track”.   That’s who they were becoming… Pastors, teachers and worship leaders.   Only myself and one other took the fourth road…. “Missionary Track”

I avoided the pastoral classes.  I had both a fear and resentment in my heart for that calling.  It wasn’t anything that I wanted to be associated with in any way.  I had nothing against them, and many pastors had spoken into my life.  It just wasn’t who I was, in any way.   I would do almost ANYTHING to not follow that trail.

Except that was the trail that God lead me down.

I wish I could tell you that the day I was informed that people should start referring me as “Pastor Kevin”, all that began to change, but that’s just not so.   It began to take me into a harsh truth… sometimes what you are called to BE is not something you want for yourself.  Let me explain for those who have never experienced this phenomenon.

There is something different that comes over a relationship when you are referred to this way.  There is not end to the job and position you take in those peoples lives.   When a plumber stops his day job, he doesn’t go to his friends house and be referred to as “Plumber Bob”.   But we all will admit that this job is something different.  Something more than a job.

We all know it’s a calling.   And a calling needs some vital element to make it so.

Someone that calls.

So it was a job I never asked for and a calling I never dreamed of, and yet it was mine none the less.   And people see you that way… every time they say your new name, you feel that put you through a filter that puts that title as a defining of who you are, or should be, or should feel or should act.   More so, we put ourselves through that same filter, and same standard.

Sometimes that filter doesn’t account for my fears.  Sometimes it doesn’t account for my weaknesses.   Sometimes it divides from knowing the position of the person, and the soul of that person.  Sometimes its a respect given, but not a person known.

Sometimes is a source of real loneliness.

But other times I am reminded that it’s JUST a name, and a person by any other name…. well, you know the rest.

“Do you love what you do?”, He’ll ask me occasionally.

“You KNOW I do, Lord!   There is nothing on earth that I would rather be doing, and no where on earth that I would rather be.  When I get to tell a child that her God has a message for her, and that message is that He loves her and has a great plan for her life….  I NEVER want to do ANYTHING else!…

…even if it requires a name change.”

And then He’ll talk to me and remind me of something.

“You know, when we walk and talk together one day, that day when you see me face to face as a God of love and has not allowed anything to separated me from you, I won’t be calling you “Pastor Kevin”.   Nor will I be calling you Fathertime!”

We’ll both laugh at that!

“Nor will I be calling you Kevin.   I have a new name for you.  I’m not telling you it yet, but it will be a name that will only be known by you and Me.  And when you hear it, you’ll know one thing for sure.”

“What is that, my God”

“That I truly, truly knew you the whole time.  And I truly truly loved you the whole time.  From the creation of the world, to that time when my blood was running in my sweat.    I’ve known and loved you the whole time…

…Right down to your core.”

*** to be continued

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