PASTOR TO PEOPLE IN THE LIONS DEN

My broer in die VSA doen my die groot guns om vir my Eugene Peterson se boek “The Pastor. A Memoir.” te stuur. Ek geniet die boek. In die begin was hy twee dae ‘n week professor by ‘n Universiteit en vier dae ‘n week “pastor” in ‘n gemeente. Hy skryf so oor die begin van sy bediening:

… I was getting a firsthand feel for what it meant to be a pastor on the ground.

Virginia, for instance. She was a shy worshipper easily overlooked. She showed up in my study  one day visibly terrified. Shaking she told me that her husband, Nick, was being threatened by the shylocks – if he didn’t come up up with five thousand dollars before the week was out, they would shatter his knees. Nick was a compulsive gambler, betting mostly on the horses. The shylocks who financed gambling addictions were merciless. She didn’t know where to turn. After listening to her stories, the tangled web of criminal intimidation and deception, the shylocks and their victims, I knew I was in over my head. I was able to to put her in touch with a retired Brooklyn cop who wasn’t intimidated. I don’t know if I was much help to her. But she was a help to me. She was in church each Sunday, but no longer overlooked. Her presence in the sanctuary was proof against any superficial assessment of people in the congregation as complacent shoppers for a comfortable pew. I was pastor to people who were in the lion’s den, to men and women facing wild beasts in the Colosseum.”

‘n Bietjie later skryf hy:

We didn’t yet know the details of what we would be doing and how. But we know who we were. … but month after month the conviction deepened – “this is who I am.”

Hierdie woorde van Eugene Peterson is vir my ongelooflik bemoedigend. Ek sien myself nog my hele lewe lank as ‘n pastor met ‘n passie vir die plaaslike gemeente. Iets diep binne in my kry seer wanneer mense die mense wat Sondag vir Sondag in ‘n erediens sit met agterdog en bejeën en hulle net bly kritiseer vir wat hulle nie is nie. Ek skryf hierdie post juis nadat ‘n vrou gistermiddag vir my haar lewensverhaal vertel het. ‘n Vrou wat nou nodig het om genees te word van daardie lewensverhaal. Ek skryf in ‘n tyd waar ten minste drie gesinne my pastorale aandag nodig het vir die verwerking van ‘n geliefde se dood, waarvan twee onnatuurlik was.

Ek beleef net dat hierdie mense met hulle seer nie vir die Here minder kosbaar en minder waardevol is as die kind wat vanoggend op straat sal gaan bedel en vannag sonder ‘n huis iewers moes slaap nie. Al hierdie lyding is erg en niks van dit hoort so te wees nie. Maar mense hoort mekaar ook nie seer te maak nie en jong pa’s behoort nie te sterf nie en jong mammas is nie veronderstel om hulle kinders alleen groot te maak nie en mense weat treur is nie bedoel om dit in ‘n vakuum te doen nie, maar juis in die omgewing van ‘n geloofsgemeenskap wat diep omgee.

‘n Pastor, dit is wie ek is.

Hier staan ek, God help my ek kan nie anders nie.

 

1 Kommentaar

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One response to “PASTOR TO PEOPLE IN THE LIONS DEN

  1. Christelle van der Walt

    Goeiemôre my Dominee Attie, as ek nou daar by jou was het ek vir jou ‘n stywe drukkie gegee. Ek weet dit is nie ‘n maklike taak om Dominee te wees nie. Dit is ‘n gawe van GOD. ‘n Edel beroep.

    Gelukkig het ons almal ‘n hemelse 911, om met Onse Hemelse Vader te kan praat en HOM aan te roep vir hulp en leiding en beskerming.

    Al my liefde en bosveldgroete!

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