God means it and has chosen me.
This deed and I have ripened with the hours;
It is part of me.
'Tis written large,
The thing I have to do. --from George Eliot's, "Spanish Gypsy"
Ugly Provincial People!
In my ministry work and travels, the parish I attend and belong to for either long periods or short ones varies with where I am and for how long until the mission scheduled there in that region or neighbourhood is done.
And one time I was in a particular parish where the parishioners were quite provincial and staid in their thinking, so everything I did and said was interpreted through the lenses of their own views of the world and lack of real experiences with it, but I am a citizen of the whole world and therefore speak a different, more cosmopolitan kind of language. And I have a much larger view of the world than those kinds of people, like the ones of that particularly ignorant little town.
And I am also quite alone in the world, and in family oriented areas of the regions where I go to minister, or did before my 'retirement', someone like myself is very much a confusing enigma... just to begin with, for being all alone in the world without family, and scattered friends.
Well not too many years ago I was in a small-minded community where the people complained to our priest about me quite often, and the things they told him sometimes sounded quite terrible, and though not even true complaints of any real validity, for those people I was quite wretched!
And one complaint one time was that I did not believe in family! Not at all, and in no shape or fashion! And all that was such a rumble and shock to them as well as to our priest! And how could it be that I hated the holy institution of family?
But all I had said when asked if I was spending the Christmas holidays with my family was, "No, I have no family to speak of." or something along those lines?
But did anyone of their families invite a lonely Christian home with them for those Christmas holidays? No! They interpreted me as an evil, family hating man, and spread the word around the church, and complained about the matter to our priest, and the next chance he had to meet up with me in small talk or any conversation he made a little, wrongful dig at me about the whole matter to express his disapproval of my hatred for spending any time at all with my supposed, and imaginary, family members!
And that particular parish was always a very draining one for me to be living in and I was so wonderfully relieved in my spirit when it was time to move on from there!
And this is all true! And I am a wretched, evil, horrible man for it!