And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. - Matthew 14:14
Lately, I have been considering some questions:
Is it easy to recognize GRACE vs. LENIENCY?
Is Grace a single ACT or a process of WAITING?
When is Grace LONGSUFFERING vs. PROCRASTINATION?
As Cash Lowe, Director of Program at The Shepherd's House, steps up in front of the group to make an announcement, he begins... "I would like to make an announcement about one of our staff members. But, first I would like to tell you about one of the first conversations I had with Chris when we first stepped into leadership here at TSH almost 2 years ago."
When GNI assumed leadership on April 1, 2011, there were 7 paid staff members. Chris is one of the original 7 who has continued with TSH for the past 2 years.
Cash continues, “During one of my first conversations with Chris, he told me that he feels called to a monastic life.”
My mind races to the corporate world of 2 week notices, severance packages, exit strategies, layoffs and other methods of protecting the bottom line of the company from stuck, ineffective employees or from staff who aren't called to the vision and work of the company. But, here we are, almost 2 YEARS LATER, Chris feels called to a path in life other than working at TSH. Am I witnessing GRACE or PROCRASTINATION?
Cash continues, “As I have had the opportunity to get to know Chris over the past 2 years, I have come to appreciate his love and reverence for the Lord. He truly has a gift of prayer and honor of the Lord. A monastic life fits him.”
During the past 2 years I have had the opportunity to work with Chris. I have heard what other staff members have said about Christ. And, I have heard what residents have said about Chris. Chris did not fit the culture we have worked to create at TSH, and sometimes, Chris worked AGAINST the culture of TSH. Cash, Curt and I have wrestled with what to do with Chris over the past 2 years. But now Chris is being publicly acknowledging and encouraged for who he is.
Back to Cash, “So, for the next 25 days he will be working part time in order to have the rest of his time to pursue this different direction. Then next month, his time will be reduced to 2 days a week until such time that he is ready to make the change.”
BUT WAIT, why the public announcement? What about the bottom-line? What about good stewardship of our finances? What about doing what is best for TSH financially (and culturally) and just letting him go? Why did we wait 2 years?
Cash concludes, “I want us all to pray for Chris during this transition and encourage him in this new direction.”
Let me ask you...what is the greatest thing that Jesus has given you?