Friday, May 15, 2009

nourishment of tears

My colleague, Fred Wooden, recently reminded us that "becoming often requires the nourishment of tears." He also noted, "If you don't look at the money, our church is doing quite well..." Attendance, programs, new members are all up. There will always be problems. If we define 'success' as the absence of problems, then we make success unattainable. If we define success in other ways, and allow problems to coexist with, but not negate, the things which are going well, we will automatically be more successful. Finally, he said that sometimes we must put down what we've been carrying, in order to receive something new. Thank you, Fred.

I thought that he'd sourced "becoming often requires the nourishment of tears" to our hymnal, but I cannot find it. Nor do I find that phrase when googling. I did find several sites on proper eye care, and one Yahoo! question, "Is the vine of love nourished by the flow of tears?" Does anybody have another source for this quotation?

Our church budget (including and especially my compensation) has been slashed; our four-year capital campaign has been terminated (I prefer "postponed," but others insist it's now or never); and our Michigan economy continues to decline--and these things open us to new possibilities. The idea that "the Chinese logograph for 'crisis' combines 'danger' and 'opportunity'" has been debunked (repeatedly). And yet it is also true, that many crises do carry with them opportunities for growth and transformation.

Spirit of Life and Death, Source of Change and Unceasing Love, we desire the strength to see and embrace these transformational opportunities, and the grace to live them out with courage and compassion. So may we be.


At 1:44 PM, Blogger Cynthia L. Landrum said...

It's seldom really "now or never" when it comes to church life, I think, although I'm sure it feels that way, and once something has been unsucessfully attempted it is that much harder to attempt again. In this economy, having a capital campaign seems pretty impossible.

We're feeling pinched, too, down in southern Michigan, in Forbes's #1 worst small city to get a job in, but you're right that this is only one measure of our health & success.

Keep up that Yes Church spirit! This economy, too, shall pass.


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