Today is “moving day” in our subculture of itinerant United Methodist Pastors in Louisiana. That means that a certain number of my colleagues pack their belongings and head to a new place of ministry. For some the change will be most welcome but for others it will be somewhat sad. As for me I will remain in New Orleans to continue my search for the Missional ministry God has for me.
Once again, we face a sad and tragic situation in Coastal Louisiana and New Orleans. We’ve had hurricanes, a crime “wave” and now an oil spill of unbelievable proportions descending upon our coast. At times like these I can’t help but ask the question-Why? I know inside of me that that is a useless question. Certainly not one to spend much time thinking about. The only problem with that position is that thousands of people are hurting and asking that very question. I am not moving and I thankful to God for that. It is time to be more than thankful. The time has come to be present in places and times that make others uncomfortable. The pelican in the picture above has become a sort of “poster boy” of the sad plight of Coastal Louisiana. As strange as it may seem one of the highlights of my day when I moved to post Katrina New Orleans was that I could see pelicans as I rode my bicycle along the lakefront or through City Park. (I saw no pelicans when I rode yesterday.)The bird in the picture represents the sadness I feel when I think about what is happening . Why is this happening? I don’t know.
The real question is –What? That has become somewhat simple for me. As a Missional Christian I do not ask why but what must I do to serve God’s mission. I gladly begin my new year and commit myself to give my all to this city and its people. I look forward to participating in times of prayer, counseling and maybe cleanup if it comes to that for me. On this moving day I’m glad I’m not moving. My heart is in New Orleans more that ever– for in being here I fine a strange sense of purpose.Yes, I want to build a great church but more than that I want to be a part of a servant ministry that will bring comfort and hope to the people that I might touch.