In 1 Samuel 3:9, Eli instructs young Samuel to say "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening," the next time he hears the voice that has been calling his name. Those are the words I am saying today.
I didn't hear a voice in the night, but I have certainly been getting the message. Consider what has happened in the past week: There was the voice of the board last Sunday. There was the elder who has been ignoring and dismissing our computer problems, and then he went to talk to a consultant and came back to tell me all the things he had learned-- the things I've been telling him for a year and he's been dismissing. There are many in this congregation who no longer hear me. There were Daughter's issues at the workshop. Here in Tiny Village, there aren't any other options for her. Then there was the voice of Far Away Sister. Yesterday she again expressed her opinion that I should go nationwide with my church. She pointed out that I am seeking to move back to one of the most depressed areas in the country. There will be no guarantee that a church that calls me will be able to support me, and as the economy worsens the services that Daughter needs will probably be cut. She then offered to do the initial screening of potential churches for me. I accepted her offer.
The idea of expanding my search is a little scary, but I am beginning to believe that that is what God is calling me to do. Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening. I have been focusing on smaller churches, the first church Far Away Sister suggested is larger, and I was ready to reject it right away. After I looked more closely at it, I decided maybe I have been limiting myself too much. I'm going to revise my dossier and begin to send it out to some of these places. We'll see what God has in store for me. It's exciting and scary.
Daughter and I met with the appropriate case managers and supervisors at the workshop this morning. The rule at the workshop is no touching. Handshakes and high fives are allowed, but nothing else. They were going to talk to J, and they were going to bring Daughter in so he could apologize. They were (again) going to remind the staff that Daughter needs access to her case manager at all times. I was a little frustrated because they were defending J some. They said he probably that Daughter liked it, because she giggled. I suspect it was the same hysterical giggling I saw when Birth Father ran his fingers along her body one day outside the court room when she was 3. I kept telling them that this was a big time trigger, and when it happened, she was 2 years old again, so she couldn't easily speak up.
She says she told him to stop a number of times and moved away from him to a different table, but he followed her and sat down next to her again, and he never listened when she told him to stop. I'm proud of how she handled herself. She had a narrative that she typed up and printed out with copies for everyone involved. She clearly laid out what had happened and asked them to keep her safe. She hasn't called today, so they must have resolved it to her satisfaction after I left.
Now I'm waiting for a phone call telling me they're ready for the committal service. I still have to finalize tomorrow's funeral and Sunday's worship.
The picture above is Cat and Kitten. I have no idea where Kitten's head is in that ball of fur. That is one of their favorite spots-- I have a cat window seat right behind my desk chair.