Now hold that thought and let me share another internship revelation that I am now realizing is intersecting with this "theologian in residence" notion.
First, a picture.
This image of me in my collar for the first time with my family was a tough one for me to get used to. I am not their pastor. I am their dad and husband (you can see my wife Sara in the reflection). The images of my collar and my family, together, seemed juxtaposed.
During an inter-denominational clergy breakfast in Birmingham, one of the clergy mentioned that he had to preside at his own Mother's funeral. His reasoning was, "My mom saw me as her pastor because she attended my church for the last twenty years, so I had to do her funeral...period."
That was the first time it had ever occurred to me that I might be the main clergy person in my family's life someday. How in the world can I be their pastor? Or to connect it to my earlier thought, How can I be a theologian to them?
Well, maybe I don't need to be their theologian. Maybe all I have to do is be their theologian-in-residence.
Have you ever thought of yourself as someone's theologian in residence? I know, that's a tough title to carry, even in spite of its temporary nature. But I think people of faith have a responsibility to assist others in their own faith walk, when the path gets unstable, or scary, or just lonely.
This could happen over a cup of coffee at a cafe with a friend.
Or at the dinner table with loved ones.
Or the cafeteria at work with a colleague.
Or over the phone with a long distance relationship.
Do you need to be an expert in Godly things? Nah, just a willingness to accept the subtle invitation to join someones faith journey, however temporary, however rocky, it may be.