May 05, 2005


It's raining today. It's not supposed to rain in the Sacramento Valley in May. In the Sierras, where I spent many summers as a teenager, yes; In Indiana, where I lived for 3 1/2 years, most definitely yes. But not in the lowlands of California. Here, May is supposed to be the beginning of our long, hot, dry summer.

Nevertheless, it is raining. Nothing exciting; no thunder or lightning, no downpours, no hail, at least not yet. Just a drizzle to make things wet and grey and yucky. Which kind of matches my mood.

Last night, I was helping a teenager who lives on our street with a school project. His mood, I think, was the same. We kind of moped together for awhile, getting not much accomplished. Then a family knocked on the door, wanting to know if I was available to do a graveside funeral for their loved one. I looked at my calendar and saw stuff already scheduled. They wanted 1:00; I said, how about 2:30 or later? They said no thanks, we'll find someone else. I said OK. I could have cancelled my plans and rescheduled, but I didn't want to. The family is known in the community, but are not members of the church, so I didn't feel any obligation to. But now I feel even more down because of the fear that I wasn't as hospitable as I should have been.

After they left, I wanted to talk with the teenager about how he was feeling, and about how I was feeling, but couldn't. What I really wanted to tell him was that even grownups, even pastors, have days when they're not quite 100%. It probably would have been good for him to hear that, that adults can be subject to good moods and bad moods just like teens, even adults who happen to be pastors of a church. However, I've been so trained to maintain boundaries between me, the pastor, and the youth I work with, that I sometimes don't know what's appropriate to share and what isn't, and in my uncertainty, I simply remain silent.

I'm not sure why I'm down. The weather might have something to do with it. My internal calendar is ready for shorts and sun and swimming, but apparently, nature isn't. Also, for the past few days, I've been feeling as if everyone is asking me for help, asking me for favors, and all I've been doing is responding to their calls, with no one offering any help or favors to me. I know that it's not entirely true, but I can't help feeling it.

Tomorrow, I'm told, we might see the sun. I'm looking forward to it, and possibly soaking it in while running, in my shorts, on the dirt road along the just-planted rice fields.


PPB said...

I think a person can only take so much helping & not receiving without feeling fphlucky....makes sense. and I can't believe that family with the graveside. It's like a rent a preacher thing....they couldn't call you to arrange an appropriate time? yhikes.

reverendmother said...

Sounds like there's a lot of this malaise going around. I'm so ready for vacation. Check out Preacher Mom, too.

Hoping that shorts and sun will be yours soon.