Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Who Am I?

No, not Marcia Brady, despite the little test mentioned below.

According to one person in our church, I'm a liar who seeks to exclude her from a clique of church women. She did not get communication of an event that we had, and says I told her we weren't meeting (which I can't recall). She's going through a bad patch in her life, and we have all tried to be supportive of her, but she is suspicious and decided my giving her what turned out to be incorrect information was deliberate. She complained to the Rector, who tried to mollify her without success.

Of course it wasn't deliberate, and the whole sequence of events that led to her missing the event had little to do with me, but I'm a safe target for now. I had a long phone conversation with her, apologized if I had dropped the ball, tried to convince her that neither I nor any of the others in the group were trying to exclude her...I don't know if she is convinced, but I did what I could, and that's all I can do. I'm just sad that she sees the world as so much against her personally that she reads everything that happens as a personal attack, and feels compelled to attack in return. It was difficult, given that I view my word as my bond, to hear someone call me a liar, but I was trying to step back from defensiveness into compassion. I think I'd grade myself a C by that measure.

In contrast, I went over to the hospital for lunch with the chaplain and my friend who is a chaplain intern. I'm doing some volunteering leading Sunday prayer services there, and we wanted to talk about logistics, and what the proper referral methodolgy is in this time of HIPAA. To facilitate my work there, I got my very own nifty ID badge, with my picture on it. The chaplain put down my title as "Rev. Seminarian." I'm not quite sure how he arrived at that phrase, but I think it does the job, even though I won't be a seminarian for a couple more months.

So who am I? A liar and a snob? A reverend seminarian? I know I don't like the first definition, and truly think I am not. I don't know that I'm worthy of the second one yet - it's a little scary to be re-identified that way.

I'm hoping I'm a child of God striving to do the work as well as I can.

Somedays, I do better than others.

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