This past week has been a week of many meetings, which leaves me much more exhausted than any other type of work. I'd rather be teaching or reading student essays. I'd rather spend the week registering students or even spend day after day dealing with student complaints--well, maybe not dealing with complaints, which leaves me exhausted in a different way.
As I wrote in yesterday's post, I've had the liturgical season in my brain as well, and my poet self can't help but notice the synchronicities and the disjunctions. I spent epiphany wishing for wisdom and insight while sitting in a very long meeting in a dreadful room.
Yesterday, I went to a training session to remind us all of the hiring process. You might say, "How hard can it be? Get the resumes, have some interviews, make an offer."
Our hiring process is much more involved: there are multiple interviews and background checks and drug checks and an HR onboarding webinar kind of thing and an HR Orientation. There are forms and a teaching demonstration and more forms and transcripts that must be provided.
Yesterday I had the baptism of Jesus on the brain. I thought about the early days of Christ's ministry: no forms, no interviews, no proving that one is already great at the job. No--in the Gospels that have a baptism story, Jesus gets baptized and gets to work. He doesn't have to go to school for years to get the credentials to be allowed to work. There is no interview--John the Baptist recognizes Jesus and baptizes him.
I also think of my favorite aspect of the baptism stories that many of us will hear this Sunday. I love that God declares satisfaction with Jesus before Jesus has done a single thing. Jesus doesn't have to prove himself the best candidate for the job by choosing the right disciples. Jesus doesn't have to attract 40 followers before being allowed to be part of God's organization.
Most of us live and work in cultures that don't accept us from the beginning. We have to prove ourselves. We have to have the right degrees and training. We have to look and act in certain ways.
At church, when church is acting as its best self, we are welcomed as we are. We hear of God's dream about how life could be better, but we are not kicked out of church if we can't make progress in a certain way.
Don't get me wrong: our church will not allow total strangers to be alone with the children or the money. We understand the world we're living in. Our insurance requires us to have background checks of even the most unlikely candidates to abuse children, and our guidelines stipulate that no adult, no matter who it is, will be the only adult in a windowless room with children.
Still, it's a very different situation than the one that most of us face in other societal institutions. It may be one of the little recognized, but sorely needed, gifts that the church has to offer, but one we rarely think to celebrate.
feeling the feelings…
11 months ago