Any private-ness that I may have clung to, in any area, has evaporated over the last few years. I've always been pretty much an open book by nature; I am the opposite of a mysterious woman. There's an old Peanuts cartoon where Lucy tells Linus that he should never try to put anything over on anyone, because he's transparent - he has "a glass head." Well, that's me.
2.How important is it to keep up a professional persona in work/ ministry?
Two Christmases ago, I had a baby. While I was on leave, the founding pastor of our church left (I mean, we knew he was leaving, it's not like he up and quit one day.) and we got a brand new pastor.
I returned to work with a 3-month-old son under my arm, undiagnosed postpartum depression, insane rage, boob trouble, and no freakin' idea who I was now or what I would do - I knew that staying home was sucking, but I had no idea how working would work.
So my first meeting with my new boss consisted of me crying for 2 hours. Not a little tasteful sniveling. I got snot on his sweater. No kidding. I had met this man exactly once before - you know, hmm, good choice, seems nice - and then I spent 2 hours snotting on him. (The New Guy had the unhappy task of telling me about an new policy that was going to be very, very hard for me to comply with; my old supervisor had been too soft-hearted to tell me.)
Well, after all that snot, it was clearly too late to make a good impression. There was no way to 'game' this. I had nothing to lose by being myself and speaking my mind - with The New Guy or anyone else. I have no image to maintain with my co-workers, every one of whom has walked in on me breastfeeding or pumping behind a closed door. Everyone in my congregation has seen me cry, drop the bread, heard me sing off-key, heard me curse.
Honestly, I do a good job - I don't want it to sound like I'm just some big shambling mound of snot and harsh opinions. I've always worked hard, and I think the last few years have made me a much better leader. I don't waste people's time, and I'm dependable and not just a mess of jello at work. I think it's an advantage that most of my work is nurturing and encouring, and working with art and artists - things might be very different if I had to be authoritative all the time, but I rarely do. And there has been astonishing grace for me with this community (even though I sometimes think of it as being nothing but critical....)
3. Masks, a form of self protection discuss...
Not an effective form, since the masks people choose expose much more than they protect. Really, there is no protection - no one hides stuff anywhere near as well as they think they do.
4. Who knows you warts and all?
Eric, of course. Beth. Chuck. (I have known these people for 28 years. As of this week.)
My brother. Saint Dad and The New Guy, who I have known for only a few years.
5. Share a book, a prayer, a piece of music, a poem or a person that touches the deep place in your soul, and calls you to be who you are most authentically.
It's really just a couple of sentences, from the end of the catechism section of the Book of Common Prayer (ECUSA). To the removed observer, this could seem like an arcane bit of verbage, a little legalistic - but believe me when I tell you that this belief is central to my experience of God, church, and my ministry.
| Q: Is God's activity limited to these rites?|
| A: God does not limit himself to these rites; they are|
patterns of countless ways by which God uses material
things to reach out to us. (www.bcponline.org)
Well, thanks be to God.