Last night I dreamed about trying to find something to wear.
I have these dreams every now and then, and usually they come at a time when I need to figure out who I am or how to play a new role in life. Yesterday I stopped by the church where I will work next and happened to arrive just as many people departed a fund-raising luncheon, which led to much hand-shaking, as well as introductions of Sam. To some people at that church, I'm a stranger, but to others I'm familiar for being active in the Association for many years, or as a columnist for the Religion page. The colleague I will work with in my new setting told the congregation about me on Sunday morning. "How many of you," he asked, "read the column yesterday about Molly?" Many hands went up into the air, and then he told them I would be the Interim Associate.
In my dream, I lived "above the shop," my residence in the complex with a church building, and I pulled hanger after hanger to see what I could wear in my new role. If you have these sorts of dreams, you'll know that you seldom find just the right thing! I took out what I thought would be a blue skirt and discovered instead it was an evening gown. Odd. What use could I have for this?
At First Parish, where I've been serving for almost a year, we'll all go through a change in relationship after the first of May, learning new boundaries and roles. But it won't be the usual Interim Minister's departure, because I'll be dividing my time between two churches for three months before moving full-time to the new position in August. I will be looking for a way to be present in both congregations without losing my mind and showing up at a bean supper or a chowder lunch in a blue silk gown!
I believe the keys to that three month period will be patience and trust. Patience may seem obvious. There will be days someone wants me that I will need to be at the other church, and that may feel frustrating, thus the need for patience. And we need to trust God, believing that this division of labor will have a purpose for all concerned, a model for a new way of being the church together.
And now, I must find something to wear today. I wonder what I will find in the closet?