I had a difficult and lengthy conversation with a parishioner. We started off with his anger and frustration about a difficult situation and ended up somewhere a bit more peaceful, I think.
Sometimes folks expect the church to wave a magic wand and solve their problems...even deeply faithful people struggle with this, I think.
Some wonder why the church doesn't do more, and why people of faith have to work through government structures and systems. Shouldn't the church be the place to address conflict?
Well, yes and no. Render unto Caesar, and all that.
So it was an interesting 45 minutes working with this parishioner, because some of the questions raised were good ones, and I had to fight my own defensiveness about the church not doing enough in the world. But it was a reminder to me that I am not expected to fix (particularly in an eight-week summer internship), I am simply expected to be present and loving.
I'm hoping that was what I offered this day, and I'm praying that I helped, or at least did no harm. I leave this one (as I should leave them all) in God's great big hands.