Pastorphobia: a common anxiety until…
Devotional thought of the day:
You see him walking down the hall of a hospital, a friendly smile greets you as you increase you pace walking away. You wonder who he is going to visit, and you might even hastily utter a prayer for the poor person. (if he walks into your room, you begin to panic – big time!) If you see him walking up to your where you live, you quickly inventory your life, asking “what did I do wrong now…” as you struggle to remember where you put the family Bible, so you can sweep everything off the coffee table and put the Bible in a prominent visible place. (as you open the door, you wonder – did I blow all the dust off of it!)
I have often wondered why people wait until things are deathly serious before they call their pastor. Why do they wait until there is no other hope. ( I am convinced that Obiwan Kenobi must have been a pastor!) Until the marriage is broken beyond repair (or so they think) until the grip of sin has choked the life out? Some will say that, “but pastor – you are too busy,” or “it isn’t that serious,” or my favorite, “I didn’t want you to find out I was mad at God”.
Is the issue truly fear? Sometimes – but I would beg you – never be afraid of your pastor – realize he is there to help alleviate fear, to calm distraught anxious hearts. Our calling is to remind you that the Lord is with you, that He desires to bring peace and restore that which is broken. Sometimes that includes physical healing, sometimes it means surviving the trauma, and yeah, sometimes it means preparing our families for our death, and helping them know – we know God’s coming to bring us home. (If the latter is inevitable, isn’t it better to have someone walk you there – and support you and your family through it?)
Remember – St Paul talks about Jesus giving you pastor-teachers as a blessing – to help you grow and mature, to keep you stable in your faith, to help you know the peace of God, and His presence.
I’ll close with this thought – part of the passage I am preaching on this weekend…
“50:4 The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. “ Isaiah 50:4 (ESV)
Let your pastor and priest do this very thing, let them use the word to sustain you… that then you can do the same for others.
we cry, “Lord have mercy!” and therefore Lord, help us to realize those whom through you pour out your mercy and love and peace upon us! AMEN!
Posted on September 14, 2012, in Devotions and tagged anxiety, clergy, fear, forgiveness, grace, life, love, pastors, priests. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.
or perhaps, if you really are afraid of your pastor, it’s time to either get to know him or find a new church where the leader can be trusted.
Although, besides fear, I think is a desire from some to not “bother Pastor” if it’s not “Serious”…
My first reaction is: If you don’t know him, how do you know whether you can trust him?
well, my point is, some can’t be trusted…but if you know that’s true, there’s no point in sitting around either causing dissension or keeping your distance.
If you’re not sure if he or she can be trusted, it’s time to get to establish that relationship. However, I think that’s easier when there’s a relationship of some sort that goes beyond Sunday morning.
I think for me, my hesitation to call for any help has more to do with the “I don’t want to bother a busy person”…Obviously, if it’s “Serious” I’d interrupt during what I’d consider personal time, but I think the rules of what people mean when they say “call anytime” are unclear. Do you mean anytime between 8-5? On Sundays? Anytime before 9 pm? During supper? Are there office hours when the pastor/priest/deacon can be called or visited when I’m SURE I’m not intruding? For me, not knowing when to call, or if I’d be interrupting those few hours of rest time have held me back from asking for any conference. I hate the formality of asking for a meeting…I’ll wait indefinitely for a spare minute, but hate to feel like I’m blocking off someone’s time. I feel the same way about asking for a meeting with my kid’s teacher…I’d much rather have a time when I could stop by during “office hours” and chat. Email and facebook have solved some of this for me.
Now thankfully, I’m SURROUNDED by clergy, (physically and spiritually and electronically), and i always know I can call my sister or dad day or night and they’d pray for me over anything…and my neighbor is this great pastor here in Cerritos…