I was blessed to do Clinical Pastoral Education work at Saint Mary’s hospital in Duluth.
Through the program, we met one day a week for group time, spent time on call at the hospital, and most blessedly spent an hour a week in one-on-one conversation with our supervisor.
Mine was a Benedictine nun, Sister Judith by name.
She walks with me yet.
CPE is a program that helps pastors and chaplains come to know themselves as ministry instruments. Since we are complex and lumpy things, we human folk, it is vital that we learn our flinch points and foibles. Our beauty, too.
I engaged in CPE while I was a student pastor at a church in Duluth. I was learning how to be a pastor to a congregation of 250 people while taking classes and parenting three small children.
It was and is a perfect set-up for craziness for those of us who want to do it all, and do it all perfectly.
At one of our sessions, after hearing my litany of woeful inadequacy, Sister Judith spoke up in her grounded and gentle way.
What she said was this: “Elizabeth, you are enough”.
It wasn’t qualified by how many people were in church on Sunday or how well my children were doing or how many papers I had written.
It was just about me being enough.
I am home after ten days of beach walking, book reading, husband savoring and space.
The first well-known entity to greet me was my old friend “not enough”. Emails and mailboxes and troubles and calculations of church health tumbled into the spaces of being that had been unjumbled.
I spent ten days loose in the arms of Holy enough.
I figure it’s a moveable temple.
Sister Judith, speak on!