Monday, October 22, 2007

It's a pity

My spiritual director is coming for lunch tomorrow and all I can say is 'Thank God'. This week I have been tormented by self doubt and self pity.

In church on Sunday, the guy that sits behind us leaned over during the 'Peace' and commented that the kids were dressed pretty casually for church. At least I think that is what he said. I honestly couldn't really hear him. But oh did I take that and make a nice big club to beat myself with. I am a crappy mom. My kids are ragamuffins. They don't have decent clothes because I am too lazy or distracted to sort their laundry. I am too frazzled on a Sunday morning to notice the rips in Noah's pants until we are halfway to church and by then it is too late to turn around for him to change.

And I suck at drumming.

And my husband's business is falling apart and he is afraid to tell me what is going on because I am the.worst.wife.ever.

By the time the priests started blessing the sacraments, I was sobbing. The kids didn't know what had happened.

"Are you ok, Mom?" Noah asked

I tried to pull myself together.

Church is as good a place as any to fall apart. Maybe better than most, in fact, since it is not completely unheard of to weep in the pews for no apparent reason. But I couldn't help feeling that in the middle of my pity party, there was some sin at the bottom of it. Desolation is a construct of my ego and will. It is me being angry about the circumstances in my life and not taking responsibility for the things I have control over and letting God handle the rest. It is me acting like a victim. I said the confession with extra energy on Sunday. First the pity party: Sorry, God, that I am a crappy mother and a bad laundress and an insensitive wife and a shitty drummer. But then the real confession: I am sorry for feeling sorry for myself.

Now where is that laundry basket?


Amy said...

The pup and I were strolling your way this afternoon and I was praying for clarity of direction for you- wondering if that little car was the Fr's or not and if it's that time again.

I had my own crisis of epic personal pity proportions today, as I prepped for my presentation to the first grade on Career Day. I looked in the mirror and all I could see was my own sinful inadequacy, and I questioned my priorities in taking time to do this amidst all I had going on...

And I reminded myself I'm not even a real minister as if somehow ordination is like that moment in the Velveteen Rabbit when the animal comes to life. But off I went anyway, thinking I am a complete failure and a fake on top of it...

And then in the moment I put on my alb, I had a sudden realization that I was slipping into the righteousness of Christ - that I'm not pretending to have everything together for the day when I come to life - that the beauty of Christian ministry is that I am ragged and broken.

And I was able to tell the kids wonderful things. That I am in the 18th grade, and I am still studying all the subjects they are. That I am a religious leader, which is something they might know by a lot of different names. And that my particular type of religion was what inspired Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who studied the Bible and Jesus. And that I love my job, and God and people of every kind and religion.

If that doesn't make me a real minister, I never will be one. Which reminds me about that laundry...

Rachel said...

What an amazing story, Amy. Thank you for sharing it.

You ARE a minister, my friend, with or without the alb.

Paul said...

It's a pity but it's a process. I guess the trick is to figure out when you're passing through something you have to pass through and when you're "stuck" or wallowing.

Singing Owl said...

Aww...I know that feeling. Praying for you. Thanks for the comment over at my place. I have to tell you that as I sat in the chapel before the morning worship service I thought of you and wished you could be sitting there with me so we could talk about it afterwards.

(((( Rachel))))

mary beth said...

Hang in there baby.

And that man who criticizes during the peace? Aint. Sposed. To. Do. That.

I heard a great talk recently about how that is really a chance for us to get right with those around us before we take Communion.

I think he was headed down the other path.

Poot on him.