Pastor's Letter - June
Greetings in the name of the Risen Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.
I believe there is strength in being vulnerable. We are afraid of people seeing us that way, but let me explain something that I saw that illustrates this perfectly.
I had the honor of participating in the dedication of the new ambulance building on Gap Street in late April. It was a large event. Media covered it, local politicians were there, food was served: it was a large event celebrating a pretty great accomplishment.
As these things tend to go, many people had speeches to give. For the clergy, we all shared a bit about the ambulance association itself, and some of us blessed the building and the various vehicles. For the politicians, they had fairly standard speeches about the importance of community.
But one man, Mike Tobash, spoke, and he shared what was probably the best thing in the whole event. He started by getting emotional and sharing the story of the death of his father. He followed that up by talking about how the local Ambulance had been there for him and his family in their time of need. There was passion and emotion in his voice. It was authentic and powerful. To me, it was inspiring to see a man with such esteem let his guard down and just share his story.
Why? Because in that moment, he wasn't a state representative. He was a human being sharing in his emotions and giving thanks for something that was done for him.
We become so afraid of becoming vulnerable, and of letting people in to seeing that vulnerability. Yet we worship a Christ who took on that ultimate vulnerability and died for us. Not only do we see vulnerability in his death, but we see it in his life. He met people, ignored people, "simple" people, exactly where they were and spoke to them face to face. He treated lepers and women and all the unsavories with dignity. And in that, he opened himself for us.
So my request to all of us, is that we spend some time letting our guard down. This is hard because I think the world spends so much time teaching up to build walls between each other, to appear strong, to not let it seem like anything ever gets to us.
Personally, I think that's all a load of hooey, the "stay strong" thing. My strength is really only strength when I give it up to God and try my best to let God's light shine through me. Then I am a good pastor. Then I am a good human being. In those moments, I share painful memories with people to let them know that I know a bit of what they're feeling. In those moments, I listen more than I talk. In those moments, I encounter weakness, both mine and others, and I see it transformed into strength because of the cross.
Peace be with you in this time.
-Pastor Brian Beissel