Wednesday, 24 March 2010

my spiritual gifts? hmmm... maybe not what others think?

March 23, 2010

Yesterday at coffee, J and T brought a bunch of food odds and ends over from the A kitchen. We stored the stuff that is useful for street church coffee time (like coffee, sugar, etc, of course!), and very quickly and easily gave away most of the rest of the stuff. R took a bunch of macaroni noodles home to make mac salad for our breakfasts. Yummmm!!!

Papa, I keep thinking about what others think I’d be good at doing related to street church… versus what I have a passion for! I’m interested in hands-on stuff (like baking and mending clothes and quilting and stuff!) and in relational stuff (sitting around visiting; being a listening ear for the gals; praying with people; taking part in discussions about You!). Some others think I’d be wonderful as a full-time admin person. Now I’ve run into this before, at “churches.” Pastors seem to think that just because over the years I’ve developed some “skills” (bookkeeping, typing, stuff like that) and because I’m pretty organized and responsible, that I have a “gift” of “administration.” I so do NOT feel that about myself. Gift of hospitality, maybe. Gift of helps, maybe. Even gift of teaching, maybe.

To me, “administration” is not a passion or adventure or even something I’m particularly “gifted at”; it feels like “paperwork” – which is, I suppose, a “necessary” part of life, and something that I’m “capable” of … but for me it is more “work” and “responsibility” than something special You have gifted me with, and that I feel “driven” (in a good way) to do, and that gives me special joy in my relationship with You. It also makes me nervous, in relation to “church” (even “street church”) because I’m still struggling with the whole “My church is not a business” thing: I agree with You, and I find that we humans very easily fall into the “church as business” trap! And I don’t want to be part of that!

Papa, I long to do “people stuff” – visiting with them; maybe doing quilting, art, music etc together; maybe teaching budgeting and home skills and such; maybe facilitating Bible studies; definitely praying with people and being a listening ear for other women and girls. But it seems like every time I become involved with a gathering of Your people, with Your church, the leaders (men!) initially allow me to do some of those things, but before long they want me to do what “they need help with” … “what the ministry needs”… which apparently doesn’t seem to include stuff that is love in practice. I don’t mind doing some basic filing, book-keeping, whatever… but when I’m told “this is going to become a full-time job” I just want to run away!

Unfortunately, I seem to have a hard time looking them in the face and telling them so. I suppose it’s because I’ve been brought up to “respect your elders,” “respect those in authority/ leadership over you,” etc… “submit” because I am a woman (though I have no problem with the submission You talk about, the submission that Jesus modeled in relation to Father, and that we are to follow, all of us in various ways)…

Well, I just wrote it all down… maybe I should email it, if I don’t know how to broach the topic face-to-face… Or maybe You can help me? Papa??

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