My shoulders are heavy for the weight that I carry.
I carry the load of the responsibilities of my family. I carry them to my office, to the pulpit, in my car, to the store, and everywhere I go. I cannot leave the worries of my family’s needs just simply because I am not there.
I carry the load of my son’s needs. The burden of bureaucracy to get his basic needs met. The struggle to see him live in a world that rarely takes notice of people like him. The daily challenge of managing meltdowns, sensory struggles, and life. I carry that with me wherever I go. It never leaves me simply because I may not be there.
I carry the load of the expectations of my church. The challenge to grow a community. The challenge to preach faithfully. The difficulty to keep everyone together. The weight of having to fix it all.
I carry the load of people’s pain. The expressions of anger that are shared towards me, because they have nowhere else to go. The ghosting simply because a decision did not go someone’s way. The resentment of years of adaptation simply to be the church today.
My shoulders are heavy, and they are carried alone.
Few people see the pastor as a person. We can never admit that we struggle, that our families have challenges, or that we feel isolated from the community. We are to smile, shake hands, be optimistic, and make sure everyone else is comforted, even when we feel angry, sad, or alone. That is the burden of being a pastor.
So, who cares for the pastor when the pastor feels alone? Are pastors not people, too?
My shoulders are heavy, but who is there to make sure that my family is loved?
My shoulders are heavy, but who is there to offer an encouraging word to me?
My shoulders are heavy, but who is there to make sure that I am seen for me and not someone you wish I could be?
My shoulders are heavy, but does anyone see that the pastor is a person, too?