Sunday, January 27, 2013

The assistant's mic: more true now than ever

My microphone, thank you very much, is labeled Assistant.

The first Sunday after Deb had left, it was suggested that I take the Pastor's mic, and leave the Assistant's for whoever else was helping with the service.

"No, thank you," I said, more than once, and smiling as best I could.

Even once the Pastor label was peeled away, leaving just a streak of white, I wanted my Assistant mic.

At first glance, this was mostly about my own comfort.  The ordained office, to me, is very special.  I will love the day when I am Pastor, but I am very cautious about taking it before my time.

When she was at Light of the World, Deb did not wear a collar, and so neither did I.  I was envious of my colleagues at other internship sites, who posted shots of their first Sundays in clericals, but the tradition at LOTW was not to wear one, and so I did not.

Now it feels right.  It would feel early, to wear it now.  I am not yet called to the office of Word and Sacrament.  I have no question that someday I will be, and so to look at the stoles and collared shirts in the back of my closet is only a reminder that I have a promise to walk towards.

I am fine just being Emmy, for now.  I have no wish to be pastor, just yet.

But today I thought of how very true it is that I am an Assistant.

I am with the people of Light of the World on this new journey, through losing their mission starter, finding an interim, calling a new long-term pastor.  I am with them, but not as one of them, because my time here is temporary.

(And this kills me, to remember that my time is limited.  Deb commissioned me, when I began, to fall in love with the people.  This was a painful request, because it was too damn easy to do, and will be so damn hard to leave.)

I am not a Pastor, and while I lead worship and plan music and make phone calls and lead Bible study, I am not the pastor.

I am the Assistant.  I am the one who watches, who waits for a signal, who plans ahead.  I wash the altar cloth.  I ask for preachers and presiders.  I write the prayers, teach the kids, hug the parents.  I am the one who helps.  I am Eve, pulled from Adam's side:  "It is not good for Light of the World to be alone.  I will give them a helper as a partner."

I am not a leader in all this.  I am the helper.  The community of Light of the World, in its two hundred and some members, will lead the way through this process.  They are the ones who will ask the hard questions, who will challenge each other, who will stumble, who will rise.  They will set their hands on their future next Pastor.  And I will be their helper.

This -- this is a holy call, to be the Assistant.

May God make me worthy of it.

No comments:

Post a Comment