I’m disappointed…

I had hoped that today there would be a step taken toward equality by the California Supreme Court…and I’m disappointed.

At one point in my life I would have understood–and probably stood with–those who are so convinced that it’s wrong. But my thinking has dramatically shifted…for a number of reasons.

One is a personal one–my brother and his partner were among those who got married during the “legal” window, and so their marriage will continue to be recognized. And yet, I have other friends who have not been as fortunate–or who have not lived in states where it was possible.

But my thinking had begun to change even before my brother came out to us.

Yes, I’ve heard the religious arguments…the statements from Leviticus that are pulled out to support opposition to homosexual marriage. But I’ve also done my own studying and have come to a different understanding of what was being talked about in those passages. Besides…if we must continue to literally obey those specific scriptures, then why is it permissible…

  • to eat shellfish?
  • to wear clothes of mixed fibers?
  • to not stone disobedient and sassy children?
  • to not kill those who commit adultery?

And how does making sacramental the commitment of two people who love each other–but who are the same sex–put my heterosexual marriage in jeopardy?

I do not understand… I have seen same-sex couples whose commitment to each other puts to shame some who claim a belief in heterosexual marriage only. And yet they have not been able to sacramentally honor that commitment–to receive the support of a faith community.

I ache for those who continue to feel rejected and cast out…and continue to hope that one day we will grant each other the grace we desire for ourselves.

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Waiting is over…

As the week has gone on, I acknowledged to myself that the odds were that the position was going to go to someone else. At one point in my life, that would have been devastating…now I just wanted to know so that I could see where my focus needed to be.

This morning I found out. Our HR director and the building director came down to my office to give me the news that they had offered the position to another candidate.

I’m okay with that. In fact, I’m really somewhat relieved. There were many things in that position that I would have enjoyed…but it would have carried with it quite a bit more stress, and there were a couple of areas of responsibility that I had some hesitations about, given some health issues I have. I knew going into the interview that those might be deal-breakers–and they were strong factors.

But what I most appreciated about this morning was the pastoral sensitivity in the visit. I have not always experienced that–even in the past few years as I have worked for my denomination–and to be so strongly affirmed as I was in this visit was a true blessing.

In fact, what may very well have been the most important aspects of this part of my journey deal with having taken part in the process.

It helped me work through some “stuff” from the last few years that I had not yet been willing to let go of…but that I had to make a conscious decision to release in order to be comfortable with applying for the position.

And there was some healing of relationships and some new understandings as I made myself vulnerable in the interview…”aha” moments for some folks I work with in helping them know why I sometimes react the way I do.

So this part of the journey ends…and yet it is also a new beginning. And I look forward to seeing where the road leads now!

Waiting…

Today was the interview for the position I finally made the choice to apply for. I know I was not the only applicant, but I don’t know how many others there are.

The one thing that I wanted was to do my best in the interview…to honestly acknowledge some situations that have been problematic in the past along with the ways I’m working to change my responses…to have freedom of speech in responding to the questions…to feel at peace.

And that’s what happened. I left the interview feeling that I presented myself the best I could–and now the decision is up to human resources. So now the waiting begins…

But at least it should not be a long wait. They plan on making a decision at least by the end of next week…and I am content. Whatever way the decision goes, I can live with–and that’s a place I have not always found myself in.

Choices…part 2

Well, after thinking about it…working through some issues…getting answers to some questions…I sent a letter of interest last Friday about the position I posted about in my last post.

It’s still up through Thursday–and interviews will probably be Friday and/or Monday.

I have no idea how many other people are interested in it–and will go ahead and apply, but that’s okay.

I had reached the point where I am comfortable with whatever direction the decision goes…whether I get the new position or whether someone else gets it and I stay where I am. And I decided that if I was comfortable with that–and could sleep at night–then it was okay to go for it!

It’s been a long road to travel. There’ve been a lot of issues I’ve had to work through over the course of the last few years–and especially this last week! But no one ever said that life was going to be easy…or that decisions would always be clear.

Sometimes I think of the Robert Frost poem:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
and sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
and looked down one as far as I could
to where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
and having perhaps the better claim
because it was grassy and wanted wear;
though as for that, the passing there
had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
in leaves no feet had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less travelled by,
and that has made all the difference.

I don’t know yet which path I’ll be taking. But what I realized was that if I didn’t apply for the position, then I might always and regret…

So I’m still standing at the fork…and whatever happens, I’ll be stepping out in faith!

Choices

Choices…decisions…can sometimes be easy. But they can also be extremely difficult–that’s something I’m wrestling with right now…and makes my emotions a little fragile!

My workplace has undergone significant changes over the last three years, due to a combination of several factors. There was a need to do some redesigning, coupled with economic conditions that mandated a number of layoffs. I was caught in the middle–lost a job, but was fortunate in being able to find another (in the same place).

We’re undergoing another downsizing–this time, primarily due to the economy. I don’t know how secure my job is…reasonably so, I think–but then, I thought that last time as well!

Yesterday there was a position posting for a job that I’m debating. One moment I’m going to go for it…the next I’m not so sure.

There are just so many unanswered questions! Some I could ask in the interview…some won’t be known until after folks take voluntary or involuntary separation…but they all play into whether I take the risk of going for the job or not.

One of my questions is whether I’ve stepped on too many toes the last few years–I’ve been pretty vocal in raising some of my concerns. I haven’t always done it in the best way, although I’m trying to make changes there.

Another factor is that I’m old enough to retire from this place. I haven’t been here long enough to qualify for the early retirement package–but I could retire…and continue to keep my health insurance. And that’s an important factor…

But if my position is eliminated, then the insurance is gone as well.

There’s a lot in that possible position that I like. But there are also aspects of it that I think probably would drive me nuts. f I don’t apply, will I always regret it? One positive thing is that the decision about the job should be made before I would have to make a decision about retiring… But in a lot of ways, I don’t want to retire, either. I mostly enjoy what I’m doing…enjoy the relationship I have with many of my colleagues…

So here I am, balanced on the risk seesaw–one side could make it incredibly great…the other create significant problems. Which way? I don’t know yet…but I have a week to try to figure it out…