It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Curate in possession of a clerical collar and a coffee must be in want of being talked at. The topic may vary – it might be the cake, it might be a complaint about some aspect of local or national church, it might be to detail what he said, what she said, and what the Curate ought to think, say or so about any of the above. It might be something important, something to be borne by sharing with one who cares and prays alongside, it might be a joke that requires retelling, it might be an enquiry about something or other, to which the Curate really should know the answer.
It is a truth less universally acknowledged that Curates, being human, sometimes want to run away and hide. This particular curate doesn’t always have the emotional resources to engage with the lovely people around her, and instead would prefer to find a darkened room in which to sit and process the events of the last few weeks and months. Because it’s been quite tricky. There are decisions for the future to be made, consequences of past decisions to be lived with and worked out, unexpected events to cope with, and in the middle of it all, normal life to be lived.
It’s a tricky time for third year curates. We have been safely signed off our training, those in my Diocese know we have a year in which to find a Benefice (or Parish) which want us to serve with them. Job hunting is on our minds and our hearts, as we try to discern our next steps, with the help of God. But God can be remarkably inconvenient both with message and means of communication. We are but frail human beings, with spouses with jobs, children with educational pinch points,and our own particular preferences for where we might best serve. Regular readers will have observed my personal preference for multiple churches (preferably cool in summer and warm in winter, but we all know it’s more likely perishing in winter and stifling for five days in summer), separated by country lanes used by horses, cows, sheep, tractors, postmen and cyclists (as well as drivers of HGV’s who are hideously over-reliant on their sat navs), with people who might not necessarily be big on church, but aren’t averse to God, coffee, wine, gin and decent cake.
And so I carry my worries for the future, for the people I love, with me. Anyone saying “trust God” in the comments may be assaulted by an exploding computer keyboard. You Have Been Warned. I know I’m supposed to trust God. I even do trust God. I’d just like a bit of space to remind myself of just why I love and trust God.