am i limping?
Monday June 13th 2005, 11:04 pm
Filed under: faith, personal

i’ve been soaking in this unlocking of emotions that i wrote about here. it hasn’t stopped at all — i cry all the time, not for no reason, but for things that, for the most part, i’m glad to be emotional about. and i feel so much more than i ever have, including other peoples’ emotive stuff, or hardship.

the other day, a close friend wrote this to me in an email

You’ve been touched in a way, like Jacob, and I hope and pray that you walk with this “limp” of compassion, empathy and emotion for a long time to come. You wear it well.

it slayed me. in a good way.

i remember the day i made three women cry in my office in one day (uh, three different meetings, that is), because i was “telling the truth”. (this was about 10 years ago now.) it was that day that i realized — for the very first time — that my lack of mercy and compassion was actually a weakness. i’d always seen it as a strength (and had been told by other dysfunctional leaders that this was true). i asked two guys to mentor me — one was a very strong leader who still seemed to have a gentle side; the other a pastor i respected who’s life was marked by his heart for people. i had small discoveries along the way. i blew it with people again and again. i was called cocky and arrogant (i didn’t make the CORE team at YS the first time i was asked to try out for it because mike yaconelli and doug fields — the two i tested with — both thought i was arrogant!). but all that stuff continued to “work for me” also — and i got promotion and opportunity after promotion and opportunity. weird.

anyhow. i remember another day very clearly. it was my last week at Lake Avenue Church (my last church before coming to YS). i had breakfast with one of my mentors, and while praying for me, he thanked god for my “gentle spirit”. i almost started laughing out loud. i was baffled. i hadn’t seen any change in me at all. then, later that day, at a going-away lunch for me with the whole church staff, one of the secretaries pulled me aside to tell me a bunch of them were talking the other day, and they’d decided i was a “gentle bulldozer”. wow — that was progress!

now, years later, i’m told i’m walking with a limp, ala Jacob.

our consultant, who’s been so instrumental in helping those of us at ys understand ourselves, tells me that i’ve shifted from 4/5 one personality type and 1/5 another, to the exact opposite distrubution of those, in the past year. he says he expects i will shift back, but i’ll never be what i was.

i like the sound of that. i hope and pray i’ll never be what i was — whatever that might have been! i don’t want to lose this limp.

6 Comments so far
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Amen! Here’s to the deep, substantial transformation that life within Jesus can bring.

I like your blog…I’m adding it to my site tonight, if that’s okay.

Comment by Mike Morrell 06.14.05 @ 12:23 am

Thanks for sharing that Marko! I think of the last SP at the church I was at before coming here and he was very much I had to be perfect in front of the kids and could not show any sort of “negative” emotion (i.e. whent he kids flaked on an event they were sponsoring). It was hard to serve under/with someone who was so anti-emotions!

Comment by Deneice 06.14.05 @ 10:33 am

Awesome…may none of us be like we were! So blessed to hear about your gradual transformation.

Comment by liz rios 06.14.05 @ 9:01 pm

Good stuff Mark. Thanks for letting us see this side of you.

Comment by Steve McCoy 06.15.05 @ 6:51 pm

i love this marko. thank you. you are helping me learn how to limp.

Comment by beth slevcove 06.18.05 @ 8:20 pm

[…] t Path Marking » Pastoral Hearts Now Opened Check this out by Mark Oestreicher.And this by Brad Bergfalk, called Wanting More — Part 2. T […]

Pingback by Jesus Creed Org » Blog Archive » Pastoral Hearts Now Opened 07.31.05 @ 2:29 pm

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