Tuesday, September 25, 2012

They Kill Prophets

Her words have played over and over in my head in the week or so since I sat across from her.

"It seems that in this area, like so many others in your life, you are called to be 'other', to speak, to be a prophet calling out from the outside."

I cringe every time the words come back to me; each time they sink a bit more deeply into my reality.

There's a truth there, but one I'd rather avoid.

She is a trusted advisor that I've come to know over the last year and a bit.  She listened as I shared, as I thought out loud, and then she gently called me to task.

"I don't want to hear those words," I told her.

Tears sprang to life, unbidden, and it takes me a few moments to collect myself, to continue.

"I don't want to be other.  It's alienating.  It's deeply lonely, this living on the outside.  It hurts."

We talk about this for a while, and she tasks me with the job of remembering those who surround me even in this place.

And yet, as the week has played out, it is the truth, spoken again of being separate that has stuck with me.

It's that truth that makes me ache as I ponder various facets of my life - as I consider the places where my spirit is being challenged to expand, to grow.

And it leads again to the conversation Jesus and I have been having for many years.  The one where I stop and look at him, disgruntled, hurting, annoyed.  The one where I ask "This too?  I have to be different, to be other, to call from the outside in this facet too? I couldn't exist from within the boundaries on just this one?  It wasn't enough that I was already separate in all those other ways? You're asking this as well?  Sure, being a prophet is a noble gig, but you remember, they kill prophets!  It was you who pointed this out to the pharisees.  I don't want this."

And it is quiet.  And then I remember, I remember this Jesus who was isolated, whose dearest friends fell asleep in his moment of anguish.  I remember this Jesus who begged his Father for a different path, not in a resigned, "I guess I'll do it, but I'm just checking" sort of way, but with a fervor that caused blood vessels to burst, that caused droplets of blood where sweat should have been.

And my separation, my wrestle, my questions, they're still not sated.  But I am comforted by the reminder that this road is one I don't walk alone.