A Vicar who is prone to getting the giggles at deeply inappropriate moments. “But that bald head was so BIG….I could have done a HUGE ash cross on it”
A Vicar who feels deeply guilty about overworking – and yet deeply guilty about doing so little, all at the same time. (I was a Ridiculous Parent too – worrying at one and the same time that my children had too many and not enough toys).
A Vicar who is convinced that she is shy, awkward and fearful – and is rather disgruntled that no-one in her congregation believes her. “But you always look so serene and confident…” (The Church Wardens know the real truth – they’ve seen me flapping in the vestry at 5 to 10, wondering if I can escape out the window without anyone noticing!)
A Vicar who becomes deeply paranoid when people send her very short emails, in case she has offended them unknowingly – even when those emails say something completely innocuous and friendly like, “Thanks”. Why else are they being so terse, after all? It couldn’t possibly be efficiency, or being businesslike, surely…
A Vicar who never absorbed those psychic powers that every other Vicar seems to have – to somehow “just know” when a member of the congregation is sick and in need of visiting. (And who can’t help but wonder, “But why would a sick person want me trooping round to perch awkwardly at their bedside???”)
If your head is a similar mess of contradictions and confusions, then you are very welcome here!
Most ridiculous of all – I am not alone in my head. I am accompanied everywhere by an imaginary, multi-talented, all knowing, all caring, all wise Super-Vicar. Imagine Mary Poppins in a dog collar. Possibly my worst habit (or favourite hobby) is to compare myself to The Sainted Reverend Poppins and compile a long list of my shortcomings. That never grows dull, but frequently grows depressing!
Despite all this, I am utterly convinced that God did indeed call me to be a Vicar – and more than that, he called me to this particular church at this particular time. That means he called me, knowing all of my flaws, weaknesses and tendencies to the ridiculous. Some days I even dare to hope, he called me because of those things, not despite them.
I take great encouragement in God’s words to St Paul: ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ To which Paul’s response was, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”