When I’m perched to preach on that pulpit chair, I’m usually thinking, often obsessing, about the text and the topic I’ve chosen for the morning. Will the sermon I’m about to deliver be worth the time of those who listen?
But yesterday I was not in Hancock. I was not even in church. I was sitting in a different sort of oversized chair. One upholstered in pleather in an express spa/nail salon at the Philadelphia airport. No lofty thoughts yesterday morning. Just a slight obsession about which nail polish to choose and whether Miami Beet will be the color I want to see when I look down at my feet.
I expect to be looking at my feet a lot this next week. Like many people, I study the ground when I feel intimidated.
What put me in the Philly airport on a Sunday morning was a long layover on my way to Minnesota. I am spending this week at the Collegeville Institute on the campus of St. John’s University, in a workshop that is part of the Ecclesial Literature Project.
I feel like an imposter. Don’t tell anyone here, but I don’t actually know what “ecclesial literature” is. Never mind being able to produce it. I have read the writing samples of the other 11 men and women selected to participate and I am certain that they let me in by mistake. I feel the same way I did when I was a pre-teen and got my first phone call about a paying babysitting job. Thrilled to be asked, but terrified that when I showed up the couple would realize they had called the wrong girl and would decide not to go out after all.
So this is a week about moving out of my comfort zone. And going where God leads me. And knowing that even if my writing is ragged, my cuticles aren’t.