Friday, June 30, 2006

Okay, I'm back, kind of...

I've been taking a bit of heat from a few people for not writing anything in over 2 months. Sorry. I know that the two of you who actually read this blog (thanks mom and dad) have missed me so I'll try to do better.

As an introspective person I've been trying to figure out why it is that I haven't posted much lately. I'm guessing that part of it was being in Mexico for a month. But I've also realized that posting my thoughts is an emotional task for me. And since we've returned home my job has taken about all of the emotion that I have to spare.

A friend of mine named Vic McMillan passed away just about 2 weeks after we got back to Hope. Vic served as a "father-type" figure to me for many years. When I first came to Hope (7 years ago), Vic and another man vacuumed the church every Thursday. They'd go for coffee at 10:00 am and I usually tagged along. As a new pastor I found our discussions to be affirming, challenging, and life-giving. The amazing thing about Vic was that he had no clue that God was using him in the lives of those around him. I once tried to tell him how much I appreciated all that he had given to me and was amazed that he found it hard to accept. In his mind he was just Vic.

In the past few years, however, Vic had not been happy with some of the changes in leadership structure at our church. He felt we were always looking for the new and improved and neglecting some of the tried and true methods. He and I had a few difficult conversations. We always made sure that we left those moments as brothers, but they were difficult times for both Vic and me; times of tears and pain. My love and respect for Vic made me extremely cautious of change, but the changes in our ministry context sometimes led me down a path that Vic wouldn't recommend. That's one of the greatest challenges of leadership, I believe. Leading even when it hurts those you love (and those who love you).

Needless to say our relationship was strained for the past year or two. But I knew Vic loved me. I knew that he prayed for me. I knew that He wanted nothing more than God to work in our church.

And watching him die was an emotional experience for me. I know he's in heaven. He has a way better pastor there than he had here. But I do miss him. And I wish we'd had more time.

I've written way more than I thought I would. Just trying to say that when I'm on an emotional roller-coaster with my job that I am not too motivated to share that with the world. But things are settling down a bit now. And maybe I'll be back around the blogosphere. Maybe what I need to do in those moments is to write. Who knows?