For the second week in a row I felt tears well up in my eyes in my Intro to Worship class. Tonight was the first time I have felt like I was learning to be a Pastor. Practical stuff that I will take with me into what ever field it is I end up in. We were talking about poetry, theology and the mix of the two which seems to take the form of worship. We were talking and watching videos. Then we had colorful sheets of paper and we had to write "I Am..." filling in the blank with what we are in worship. About half way through our Professor turned the lights off! We thought it was a mistake because we couldn't see. He said NO! Keep on writing sometimes you are going to have to keep on going and you won't know what to do. (This is a very loose paraphrase, I kind of wish I could have taped the whole thing so I could remember the words now.) Then in the dark we made a path of words on pages. Then in the dark we crawled around on our hands and knees and struggled to read what everyone had written.
It was a thin place, when those lights flicked off I started to feel. I don't know what it was, then these words filled the room, you are going to have to help people through their pain when you don't know what to do with your own. That's the first time I felt the tears coming. I wrote words I can't remember. I felt a lot of really complex things all at once. I think for the most part they were things I need to feel more often but I am just learning how to feel. For so long my reaction to pain, hurt, loss or even challenges has been to shove my feelings down. To press on, be tough. So it might seem odd but I am learning how to feel for me. I have had no problem feeling for others, but accepting my own feelings, it's new. I guess I should mention that it is not so much about class at this point but growth I see in myself. I have been working on this a lot and it's the first time it's connecting for me in such a deep way.
I don't know crawling around on the floor in the dark desperately trying to "hear" my classmates, God was there in that moment. I felt like I was being prepared for the call I still don't entirely understand. Then someone said the words make it real which is funny because I said that exact phrase in Spiritual Direction recently. I am taking notice of that.
I wonder what does all this mean? I think it says something about how I learn. I think it says something about the experiences I long to encounter. I think it speaks to my desire to get to really know my classmates. I think that desire to know links somewhere to a deep hidden desire to be known.
I wish we had the opportunity to take course work where we took retreats and really made space for God and each other. Honestly, I need to crawl around on the floor in the dark more. I need to hear my friends. Maybe I even need to say something.
Today I am grateful for the opportunity to learn in a way that speaks to me.
May you be blessed with encountering God while crawling around on the floor in the dark.