05 January 2007


I knew the question would come.
I'd actually been practicing conversations so as to avoid the question, and the subsequent answer.
But it was unavoidable.
Last night, in the best of circumstances, as "my" lil church plant is embracing another church to become part of us, as we hosted a "get to know you" type of open house, I was asked, "so, Diana, what do you DO?"

"Ummmm, nothing, actually."

I've pondered this question sincerely hundreds of other times.
I've often thought about how we are human beings, and not human doings, and wondered how we could ask questions of one another to determine who we are, aside from discovering what type of occupation we hold.

Unfortunately, for the people who asked, I couldn't disguise my discomfort or my pain as I responded. In fact, in the category of tmi, likely, I expressed it. This led to their discomfort, and their apology for asking me. Which is ridiculous, and made me want to apologize. It's our common practice, afterall. Probably nine times out of ten when we first meet people we ask, "what do you do?" None of that was their fault. Ugh. It's complicated.

And then, just minutes ago, I walked into this Panera, one farther from my house, b/c for some reason I often run into people I know at the one closest to my house, and as I slid into a corner booth to remain anonymous, someone says, "Hi Diana!!" And as I look up and greet her, she also says, and forgive me, the volume seemed like a megaphone to the world,
"Hey, I hear you're unemployed!"
It felt like I was labeled with an inappropiate social disease, which is pathetic, I know.
God is breaking this pride for sure.

Perhaps these experiences needed to happen to force me to articulate and reflect on who I really am.
A job certainly provides boundaries and definition. And I loved my job. So it also provided joy, challenge, great friendships, and fullfilment, among other things. And to be sure, employment provides the necessary financial security, or some stability at least.

But what anchors anything, and what remains, is who I am.
And really, the only thing that matters in defining me, is that I am a child of God.

And my job description is to love God and love others.

With such simplicity, why does that seem so stinkin' hard??

Pix credit: A waitress in Florida took this picture for us. :-) This is another picture of some friends, from my last work trip, who are some of the folks in the barriers to cross cultural ministry that I'm part of...or, was a part of, as it were.


jeb said...

welcome to the status of alien and stranger

Jewels said...

Hi Diana,
I know what you mean. Last night, when we were meeting people, I found myself referring to 2 jobs ago since that was more what I went to school for, and I guess I was veg'd out from the Ford stuff, too:) But I can imagine how uncomfortable that must have been. I think that what you do is such a small part of who a person is - more important is how you do it.

jordan said...

Yeah, it's simple--love God, love others...
AND it's really, really difficult, and seemingly impossible--loving His creatures, that is.

cindy said...

could your answer be as easy as completing your masters in spiritual formation in order to more effectively use the gifts God has given you?

it sounds so simple to love God and love people but I agree with jordan...simple and easy are two different things. :o)