November 20, 2007


I had lunch with my friend Robert last week. Robert is currently the pastor of a church in San Jose. I've come to know Robert over the past several years through work we've done together, such as running a week of camp for teenagers, or setting the stage for worship (literally) at the annual gathering of northern California Disciples congregations.

Robert has been blessed with the gift of creativity. He is artistic in many ways. If you ever find yourself attending a workshop he is leading, you can expect there to be crayons, colored paper, movement and singing.

I'm not sure how it came up, but I mentioned to Robert how I see different letters in different colors (something I wrote about here). Turns out that he does, too. "And the days of the week!" he added. I thought about that for a second, then agreed. Tuesday is blue, for example, but Wednesday is yellow. This coming Thursday is the brownest day of the year, because Thursdays are always brown, and it's Thanksgiving, which is brown, and it's in the month of November, which is a very brown month. But I've gone off topic, which is understandable, because I also have attention deficit ... and so does Robert.

Robert said he thinks it's not uncommon for creative people to make these color associations, and to have attention deficit. He also thinks I'm a creative person. Compared to Robert, I don't feel very creative; but as I've thought about our conversation over the past week, I've counted the ways in which my creativity is expressed.

There's this blog, for example. In case you haven't noticed, I tend to tweak the layout every so often. The appearance of it is as important to me as the content. I also spend a lot of time on the appearance of my church's worship bulletins and newsletters, which I put together.

I told Robert some of what's been going on with me and my church. He looked at me and said, "Oh, Danny ... you need to leave. You need to find a place where you can be creative, some place where your gifts can be put to use and appreciated." I told him about the Sunday when I left the bulletins blank and made no plans for worship, because I felt that I -- and the Spirit -- were being stifled by the rigid formality of it all. "How did it go?" he asked.

"They tolerated it," I said. "But they were glad when things were back to normal the next week."

So that's one more reason why I feel that God is calling me to leave this congregation at the end of December. I just wish that God would hurry up and let me know where I'm going next.

A photo I took last week at San Damiano Retreat Center, where Robert & I had lunch.

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