By Sean Langdon
Responsibility overload. Naomi Judd’s suicide. War in Ukraine. Binge-watching “Heartstopper” (if you know, you know). Event canceled due to threat of violence. Mass shootings. Holding in confidential stories. Fractured relationships.
When I log-in to Facebook, I am asked, “What’s on your mind, Sean?” Well, all of this and more! All of us in ministry carry not only our own burdens but also the burdens of others. Lately, it just seems too much. That so many people are carrying so much. People like to say that God never gives us more than we can handle. I don’t theologically agree with that statement but if it were true, I’m tired of God overestimating my abilities. Can you relate? I have a feeling many of you probably can.
Nadia Bolz-Weber, one of my favorite public theologians, recently posted “A Blessing for a Pastor’s Heart” on her blog. It resonated deeply to me. For this context, I’d read it as “A Blessing for a Minister’s Heart”. And by minister, I mean all involved in providing ministry.
So, to all those who provide ministry… Know this! You are loved. Even when it is tough and exhausting… Even when there are times that you just want to throw your hands up in the air and walk away from ministry but the calling of your heart tugs you back into place…. Yes, even when it feels like the weight of your community is on your shoulders… You are loved! You are loved by your Creator. You are loved by your peers in ministry. You are loved by me and those I serve with on the GPNW USA Mission Center Leadership Team.
I hope that Nadia’s blessing speaks to your heart like it did my own.
A Blessing for a Pastor’s Heart
By Nadia Bolz-Weber
I imagine it was because of your heart that you went into this work in the first place.
So I imagine you have a heart that wanted to extend beyond itself, to stretch to love God’s people.
So may God bless the parts of your heart that receive their stories so openly, and comfort their sufferings so compassionately, and share their joys so thoroughly.
And may God also heal the parts of your heart that have been wounded by the very people whose stories you receive and whose sufferings you comfort and whose joys you share.
And may God revive the parts of your heart that have grown protectively cold.
And may God protect the parts of your heart that are well-loved by those who know you best.
And may God gently place God’s own heart right behind yours so that the sorrow of those in your care can move your heart but find a landing place in God’s.
And may God gently place God’s own heart right behind yours so that the love you give in this work can come through you but doesn’t have to come from you.
And as the love of God moves from God’s heart through your own to those in your care, may your heart soak up all it needs in the process.
Because your heart is a human one too, and it deserves to be well tended to.
To read the original post from Nadia, click here: https://thecorners.substack.com/p/a-blessing-for-a-pastors-heart?s=r&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web