I talk with a variety of people each week. When I think about it, the range is far and wide. And I hear about some people who are afraid to talk to a pastor, or this pastor specifically, for any number of reasons. Some think they know my politics and think that my politics will determine who I am willing to talk with and who I will not talk with. You likely don’t really know my politics (it’s complicated) and regardless, I’m not going to let politics get in the way of offering pastoral care. That’s just stupid.
Some might think that a pastor, or this pastor specifically, might judge someone based on what they have done so they are afraid that I’ll condemn someone for whatever it is they are confessing. If that were the case, I probably wouldn’t be talking with anyone – we’re all guilty of something, some sin, some brokenness. That includes me. And anyway, I really don’t need to condemn people – people are pretty good at knowing when they have screwed up. They are often beating themselves up far worse that anything I could ever tell them.
Regardless, I want to be really clear. And the best way to do that, is to just state it plainly.
Who ever you are, whatever you have done – I’m willing to listen. You are welcome to reach out – especially when you are in need.
If you are straight, LGBTQ+, unsure, married, single, divorced or anything else please know that you are welcome to talk with me. I’ll listen.
If you’ve had an abortion or think that abortion is the greatest sin ever, you can talk with me. I’ll listen.
If you are conservative, liberal, Democrat, Republican, third party, or no party, or not even registered to vote, a Trump lover or an AOC lover – I’ll listen to you. I’ll offer pastoral care that is needed.
If you are rich or poor, I’ll listen.
What ever is going on in your life – you are welcome. You are welcome to reach out. I’ll listen.
And there’s a good chance that I’ll do something else. I’ll probably tell you that I don’t know the answers and that sometimes life sucks. But you are not alone. I’ll proclaim grace to you because everyone needs to hear these words – grace is not getting what you deserve. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve.
You are welcome.