Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Speaking Hope

As a young pastor I've struggled sometimes with what it means to be "pastoral." One the one hand I don't want to be the cliche master -- spouting meaningless phrases just to fill the silences because of my discomfort with heavy pauses. On the other hand, identifying philosophical conundrums and angst over theodicies doesn't seem appropirate either to one who is suffering. So a couple of conversations over the last couple of months have led me -- when in "pastoral" moments to ask myself this question: "How do I bring hope to this person?" I'm not totally sure yet, but maybe this is what it means to be a great pastor -- to bring hope where there seems to be none. In fact, maybe this is bigger than being "pastoral." Maybe this is what it means to be a Christian -- to be fully engaged with those around us -- to bring hope.

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