Distance Makes the Heart Grow…
The other day Lisa and I visited with a friend who went to the last church we pastored. The one I left in 2010. She stayed after we left for as long as she could. But she eventually left as well.
We are still friends.
The pastor who took over from me was my friend. He was in the church. I mentored him. The leadership team and I helped with the transition. Everything went really well. The separation between the congregation and I was an amicable one, and we planned on staying friends.
Until I left.
As soon as I left, he cut off all communication with me, discouraged others from communicating with me, and eventually pushed the entire leadership team away and replaced them all, and eventually, over the next few years, drove the church into the ground and closed it permanently forever a couple of years ago. He moved away.
I heard just the other day, from our friend above, that he has moved back.
She wondered how I felt.
I said, “Nothing!” And I meant it.
In fact, well, I did feel something. I felt a strange sense of detachment. There was always a lot of drama when I was in the church. And after I left I kept hearing about the drama that continued and intensified. I would hear stories of what was going on and I certainly felt strong feelings.
Now? Nothing! Now, I realize how much of it was just drama. When you’re in the middle of it, it is very real, meaningful, and existential. It is overwhelming and powerful. Now, it seems kind of ridiculous and useless.
I know people are wondering what I’m going to feel or say or do. But, no, I’ve got nothing. I’m just not into it anymore. The further away I am from it time-wise and emotions-wise the more alien it seems. It’s like a world all its own. Oh, I still get it, in some ways. I understand the lingo and the drama. I still understand the unfulfilled longing and perennial hope and apocryphal worldview.
But I’m no longer invested in it anymore.
I’m at peace… in my mind and in my heart.
I’ve moved on.
It took time. But I did it.