When a forced shut down is accepted, it leaves me with a certain uneasiness. I dislike, rather intensely, inaction. Time spent without evidence of fruitfulness is time of questionable value for me, even though I know full well that wasted time for the sake of the Lord is time well spent. What I know and what I have yet to become are differing things.
The forced shut down of which I speak is medical in origin, slight in significance, short-lived in the long run. I wonder though about the uneasiness that accompanies it. From whence does it arise and for what purpose?
My thoughts turn to the impact my decades long efforts to assist the mentally ill have had. One of the realities of such work is one seldom sees the long term effects of your efforts. This is becoming more and more pronounced in today’s short-term, symptom reduction mentality for mental health care. I wonder whether all those years will bear some fruit that endures. It isn’t like an architect who builds a building that lasts a hundred years or more and people comment, “John designed that.” After nearly sixty years of life, what will remain of me in the clinic or parish?
I have sensed increasingly an urgency to “get things done” and a frustration with those things and people who seem to drag their feet or obstruct the efforts of others, the friction and drag that seems part and parcel of organizations. There are so many people out their, very close to us in proximity, that need our concern and care yet we often are blind to their presence. In a city of 30 thousand inhabitants in my immediate area, you will encounter I suspect two thousand Hispanic and Latinos. We have an active ministry to address their needs and we hear of it frequently. But in that same city we have anywhere from one to three thousand same-sex attracted men and women who need our ministry, but there are few funds and few individuals committed to that ministry. In that same city we have perhaps eight thousand or more divorced persons, yet little by way of funding and personnel ministering to them.
A force shut down leaves me eager. I makes me wonder “why?” It makes me question the efforts I have made and the level of involvement I have accepted.
Perhaps my spirituality is becoming increasingly “masculine” in quality, and service-oriented in structure, more active in nature, increasingly diaconal.
Jesus himself experienced this, I suspect. In the Gospels he grew weary of the drag and friction that kept the poor from being tended and shepherded. He grew angry at times with it all. His purpose was to carry out the Father’s will and to tend to those who were poor in spirit, mind and body.
My overriding desire is that I become the Icon of Jesus the Servant which I was ordained to be as a married deacon. May God grant this to me.