March 21, 2005

Ministering through the disgruntlement...?

Over on beppeblog, Joe in his post and Martin in his comment to Joe have given me something to consider: When I wrestle with my disgruntlement while a message rises within me, how do I reconcile the two? I often find that I turn to the question,

What must I do to be faithful here? Will I feel faithful to the Spirit if I say nothing...?
Joe wonders, given his disgruntled state, if fellow worshippers would interpret his vocal ministry as judgement or love. My worry is not quite like Joe's, but should it be? Have I been missing a step in my own discernment process, or does my discernment process simply occur in a different sequence or manner?

Between Joe and me there appears, though, to be a similar inward experience, an inward searching of what is in good order. There is the undergirding concern of being well led; the desire to be faithful.
Will I be letting God down, will I be letting the community down, if I ignore the prompt to speak?
The few times I have yielded to the prompt to speak despite my disgruntlement, I have found (1) an energy rise within me that rides on the words I speak and also surprises me; and (2) a sense of feeling emptied when I return to my seat. Sometimes, like yesterday, I am overcome by sobs and tears—relieved of some burden I hadn't known I was carrying.

Blessings,
Liz

2 comments:

Joe G. said...

Yet more good thoughts!

I think I need to clarify what was causing the "disgruntlement" part: it was specifically directed at that Meeting. In addition, I clearly had distanced myself from the community and there I was again, out of nowhere, back in their midst.

I believe that the message would have been one of judgement verses love and compassion. Not that God can't or won't or doesn't use us when we are feeling that way. But, it was clear that my disgruntlement would have overshadowed the possibility of my being a model of the love of God. Or at least, that was how it seemed to me when I heard God, ala Lily Tomlin, chide, "now, hush!" :)

Liz Opp said...

Beppe, no need to clarify on my account: I was already identifying with the source of your disgruntlement. ...But by posting your process, you minister to me that I might do well to listen a bit longer and weigh things a bit differently, especially during MfW.

And if I hear Lily Tomlin in my head, I'll know who sent her to me! smile

Here's a Friendly quote from Lily: The best mind-altering drug is the truth.