The church (in a wider sense) has been happily gung-ho about snapping them off, however, for a long time. There's something about being 'right' that makes one think it's perfectly acceptable to do so - I know because I'm a natural 'snapper' when it comes to abstract situations.
So I'm trying to see how I can bind them up, rather than break them off according to instinct. How does one get close enough to actually help when those who are hurting and feeling damaged don't want to let you? When people become people instead of being just those who do things differently, it's possible to care about them instead of just writing them off as being in the way and un-willing to change.
And I keep coming back to the various callings that I think are there in my life. I've been unconsciously reading through the books of judges and Samuel for the last few days, and seeing how leaders rose up and how they did the various things they did and why. Just trying to wait and see what God wants to do and what he's saying, and at the same time make sure I'm in the right place to be available when He calls. The bits I'm afraid of are speaking out what I feel I'm called to, partly for fear of looking foolish and presumptive, partly because I don't want to scupper possibilities. And there's a bit of me that's always wanted to hold on to being a slightly rebellious outsider.
Actually, that last is interesting, because in the last few years as part of BCC that wasn't true at all. We were were we should be, doing what we were called to do, and I loved most of it, even when it was draining. Yes, there were times of putting my head in my hands and wondering how we'd cope, but I've a feeling that if you don't do that occasionally then you're not really trying. I can remember places where I didn't embrace it, and still feel some guilt, and in many ways that's a good sign too.
Sp we'll see.....