Sometimes in our Christian walk we have to learn when to shake the dust off our sandals and move on. I had to do that as far as Kairos at USP Pollock. With restrictive regulations, limited training opportunities for volunteers, and six inmate deaths in the last year resulting in the institution being locked down half the time, I had to move on. I’m back ministering at Winn Correctional, a medium security state prison. It is good, as well. Even though Winn #28 hasn’t happened yet, I went to a Wednesday prayer and share last night, and God had work for me to do in talking with a few different men.
Yet, I sit here with trouble on my brow about what am I to be about in the Episcopal Church. Am I to be a reconciler, a partisan for Jesus Christ in territory occupied by the enemy, or am I, after much consternation and prayer, to finally shake dust off my feet?
As I sit here tonight, I am faced with all three paths at a crossroads.
Interestingly enough, God is challenging me to do all three. I just don’t know how to do it. I know from what I have been through I am to do all three, as I’ve done them at different times and different places. I just don’t know how to do all three at the same time in the situation I am in.
I do know this. I am gifted by the Lord in reconciliation and partisanship. Shaking the dust of my feet is the hardest, but perhaps it should be that way. To give up on people should always be a gut wrenching decision, much as it was for Jesus with Judas.
I once had the vainglory of telling the good Lord I would follow him into the breach and would stand in the toughest of situations – much as Peter told the Lord. I can’t help but feel I’ve denied my Lord many more than three times – in not reaching out to others, in not standing up to others, and in not walking away when I should and compromising where I should not.
Lord, I just can’t stand here. I know I said I could. But I just can’t.
And the Lord replies, Brad, do you love me? I say yes. He says feed my sheep, and that someone will take me where I don’t want to go.