Do you know that in 1982 I entered the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg as a candidate for ordination? That's right. One of the dropped threads of the fabric of my life.
I thought I was called. Looking back, I'm not sure I really was. Maybe that's why it lasted less than a year. Or maybe it was just my inability to pass Old Testament History (the only class I failed in my higher education experience.) At the time I blamed it on how messed up my family life was. Alcoholic father. Co-dependent mother. Blamed it on everybody and everything around me. "I'm just not ready to be that serious about life," I remember saying when asked by well intentioned friends why I left.
Now, 34 years later, I'm feeling called to sharing God's word in a much stronger way than I did then, and I'm not quite sure what to do with it, or where to go with it.
I know back to Lutheran Seminary isn't the answer, because my personal theology - wrong choice of words - my theology of how I personally make sense of what I have learned in the past two years, layered on top of the past 54 years of Lutheranism - well, it no longer fits the mold. Doesn't fit any specific mold, not really. A hybrid of experiences.
So, I started a blog. Maybe as my place to sort through things.
And I find one of my favorite activities now is hearing the testimonies of others as they have come to accept Jesus Christ into their hearts, into their lives. I love reading about it, and writing about it. I'm fascinated by how God has a knack for reaching into each person's life in the way most meaningful to them.
I wonder what to do with my first adventure into self-publishing, Painting Lily, because she doesn't really fit me anymore. Or maybe she does. I wonder if the next book, a next novel, should pick up where Lily left off. Maybe Lily's next chapters could reflect my next chapters, since publishing her. Maybe Lily's next trials in trying to find herself could be about her being led to Christ.
Or maybe I should just write more essays. Take some of the blog posts and expand them.
Or - gee - I'm just not sure. So I turn up at the page every day and see where it leads. I ask for the words, and allow it to flow. Sometimes it's short and simple, or just a photo. And other times - I get real. Maybe sometimes a little too real.
As balance, on a day like today, I sketch. This one a very rough simple sketch for a new commission.
If I truly am being called this time, to witness, or to preach, then the avenue will be opened before me, as long as I am paying attention. I trust God will do this. Not sure of the best vehicle, I pray for discernment.
And now, I am going to go swim, on September 27. Every swim a reminder of my baptism.
p.s. - that was written at 4:00 this afternoon. I need to add a p.s.
When I swam, there was one other woman in the water. We started to talk, about how much we were enjoying each and every last day as the nights are getting colder and the water follows. I noticed a tattoo on the inside of her left arm, and asked her what it said. In lovely script, the words "just believe."
I can't make this stuff up. God is AWESOME.