I don’t always watch Grey’s Anatomy, but one of the running themes in the show is that everyone has a “person.” Said “person” is the someone to go to for the tough stuff, that person is a lookout to make sure you are ok, that person is the gut-check when you are doing stuff that deep down you know you shouldn’t be doing. I think we all have a person, or even persons… different people for the different places and stages of our lives. I’ve certainly had my share of people, and I know that I’ve stood as other people’s “person” on many occasions.

Maybe that’s why I’m a little nervous right now, Dear Reader. I’m off to Confirmation Camp this evening. I’m going to spend time with a very lovely young person, an 8th grader who is smart and graceful and hilarious, and I’m going to stand up for her during Confirmation in a few weeks. I’ve signed up to be her spiritual “person” for the next couple of weeks.

Well, not couple of weeks. Our assistant rector has made it very clear: this is a “forever” relationship. I’m responsible for checking in, for being a listening ear, for being an open door, for giving advice… nothing about this is temporary or shallow. When I was asked, I understood what I was getting into, but here we are. The rubber is meeting the road. And you know what my real number one fear is? That I will say something that will embarrass my confirmand. That we will be discussing some tenet or passage that I disagree with and she will be mortified. How terrible would that be if I ruined everything for her with my obtuse thought or something?

I have had mentees before. One of them turned in her honors thesis at Harvard a few weeks ago. She called me up and everything, letting me know that the seeds of her thesis were planted by the final essay I assigned her in eighth grade. She forbade me from crying until I got off the phone, but it was certainly a moment for me. What we do in this world has meaning and you just never know what is going to stick, what is going to linger, what is going to grow.

So again, that’s why I’m feeling nervous. Teaching history? Wasn’t a thang. But this spiritual thing? Saying, “yes, I will be yet another voice in your relationship with God” and speak on that relationship with some sort of authority? It makes me nervous. I feel woefully under educated all of a sudden.

Longtime readers will know that I am very new to this church going thing. Christianity has always been part of my life, though church hasn’t. I think that I’m only just now finding a real solid understanding of who I am and how I fit in to the Christian community. I even think I’m only just now understanding how to talk to God, how to listen to Him when he’s talking about to me and how to live the life that He wants me to. It’s taken me my whole life to find this footing! Am I really the one to share?

I was called. I suppose that means I just have to do my best. Wish my luck. I’m off to try something totally new. (Also, let’s be clear, we’re all going camping and I… am not a camper. So… wish me luck on multiple fronts, please!)

Dear Reader, I wish you warmth and sunshine this weekend. I wish you the first peeks of early spring flowers, the first smells of the real, true thaw. I wish you something warm for the chilly spring nights, but something crispy and green from the early spring harvest, too. I wish you time to pick out a new little something for your warm-weather wardrobe, and maybe a little something for someone who brings joy to your life. Matter of fact, Dear Reader, when was the last time you checked in with your “person” and said hello? Take the time, yes? When you are done, remember that every little thing you do has meaning, and makes an impression that ripples across the days and years. Remember also that you’ve done something to earn the love and admiration of someone, maybe even many someones. You’re worthy of that love and admiration, Dear Reader. Remind yourself early and often. Then go off and remind someone else that they’ve done the same.

You’re wonderful, Dear Reader. Hopefully cool mountain pictures on Monday.

Until then, take care.




3 thoughts on “[Quiet Thoughts]Of Being a “Person”

  1. My parents are currently acting as mentors for a young couple in our church. They’re in their early twenties and my parents say they consider them surrogate children, since they’re a similar age to my brother and sister. The other day when they were about to head out to spend an evening with them, my mum said, “I’m not sure we’re very good mentors.” I don’t know exactly what her thinking was behind that, but I would say that I don’t think you’re alone in worrying about fulfilling that role in someone’s spiritual life. Heh.

    • It certainly is a scary proposition. I feel like there is a reason why priests get paid to do this, you know!? Like, dude, this SHOULD be a professional sort of gig because I have no idea what in the word I’m doing!

  2. what a brave, and beautiful, and generous action.
    perhaps as any human, you can model your highest aspirations to the best of your ability, and to also show the humanity of being human, which comes with not knowing all the answers and all that fun, humbling stuff.
    your reflective capacity seems to be plenty rooted in practice to be able to offer such grace to another along her path.
    with much respect to you for this gift-offering.
    goodness knows i wish i had a mentor such as this through my young adult years.
    wishing you trust in yourself & your faith on your journey.

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