This whole thing about the clergies’ place in the world has really gotten to me. I think the whole thing about the separation of lay and clergy leaves something to be desired. And yet, I am not sure I want to totally do away with the separation.
Maybe part of the problem is that we just don’t seem to understand moderation. We assume that if a person makes one off color joke, then that person is a pervert or something. I don’t know.
Maybe I find the “trappings” of being a clergy confining. I find that people will talk to me about things in their lives and things in their faith that they would never think of talking to a priest about. I find it sad that they would not talk to their priest about it, but the truth is as it stands. I find that I seem to fill a void in peoples’ lives.
A few years back when I was between calls, I also had some temp jobs. I was amazed at the number of people who said, “I wish I had a pastor like you.” But I wondered, would they really want a pastor like me? I think they like the concept but I think that they would try to push me into the old box, make me into a “Holy Joe.” I think a pastor outside of the box is possibly too challenging to most people. It is nice to think that what Jesus asks of us is just too much for most of us and can only be done by a few “special” people.
I think we see this in the Roman Catholic view of Mary as “Ever Virgin.” She is special, that is why she could endure so much. We are lowly, we could never do that.