Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Different Gifts but the Same Spirit

This weekend Scott and I led a retreat for the leaders (young adult and older-adult) from a parish from our Archdiocese. This parish had (very) recently lost their DRE/Pastoral Associate to cancer. Her funeral had been just a few days before the retreat, so it was fresh for the people who knew her.
I knew this DRE/PA too, through our regional meetings. I didn't know her well but she was respected and had some good friends in the group. She seemed nice and had good things to say, but we were of different ministry eras.
Anyway, it really struck me the different ways people on the retreat spoke about this woman. Some were teary when they said "she brought me into my faith, welcomed me and encouraged me into ministry. She never gave up on me. " Some said "she was relentless and difficult, if she wanted you to do something she would push and push. She did not take 'no' for an answer." Really, all the comments about her were respectful, but it was striking to me that this personality trait, this doggedness, can be seen by some as encouraging and empowering and by others as off-putting.
It makes me think that no one can be "all things for all people" and that even people who we might not see as gifted for leadership can be used by God to reach the people who need to be on the receiving end of that person's gift. I do believe that God speaks everyone's language, and now I am realizing that God can use every gift in one way or another- even the gifts that annoy mere mortals such as we.

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