The Sweet and the Bitter

Today the Northeast Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church affirmed the boundaries change that I had previously described (the one about which I was so upset). This means that by 2010, I will officially be a pastor in the New England Annual Conference, while many of my dear friends here in New York will be part of a new Conference being formed.

That in itself it bittersweet; there are tremendous opportunities on both sides of the divide for new and vibrant ministries, and lots of great people I’m excited to work with in New England (I’m trying not to think of it as losing friends in NY– they’ll still be here and we’ll always have, er, Saratoga [and the web]– but as gaining new friends and colleagues and opportunities). But even in the midst of those new opportunities, there is a grieving that is real and often, for me, quite messy.

But as I was receiving a text message from the floor of Jurisdictional Conference, my husband was on the phone, accepting a job offer in South Burlington, Vermont as a middle school Special Educator. It’s hard to be upset, even about missing one’s dear friends, when one’s spouse is doing a booty-shaking touch-down dance in the kitchen.

Bitter and sweet, sweet and bitter, sown and grown together until you can hardly distinguish between the two, until you can’t pluck up the one weed without disturbing the wheat. Why does that sound familiar?

Where do the weeds and the wheat, the bitter and the sweet, grow side by side in your life?

5 thoughts on “The Sweet and the Bitter”

  1. Becca, that’s so interesting about your husband! My husband has his master’s in special ed. and is the behavior specialist at Milton High School. I’m sure they’ll be running into each other from time to time!

  2. I would have to say that being a working mom is a place where wheat and weed grow next to each other in my life. I love my job, I am successful, but being these things sometimes makes it so that I don’t get to spend as much time with my daughter (or my husband for that matter) as I would like. I can’t choose one over the other, they are an inevitable part of life, and i have to learn to live with both.

  3. Woven.
    Christianity is woven throughout our entire nation, being the very fabric that makes up these islands. It keeps the judgement of God from falling on us that is why we have been preserved from the many wars that have buffeted our shores.

    We need never feel that the darkness that comes upon us is permanent, for the light of Christ will always prevail by dispersing it with his glory. We need not be troubled by wicked people, for our God is surely dealing with them. I am amazed when I see Christianity in all our great institutions, I cannot begin to speak of all our workforce, builders, lawyers, nurses, miners, factory workers, who make our nation so great and confess Christ Jesus as Lord, Well, the list is never ending, where God’s people can be found, Christianity is literally everywhere. It cannot and will not ever be removed from these islands.

    Do not listen to doom prophets, when you hear them say things for example, like the abortion issue, they say, “surely this will bring God’s wrath upon us all, for that wicked thing that people do to our unborn children.” Well, God’s judgement will fall on them that commit such horrific killings, but I assure you, the righteous will not be included in God’s judgement.
    We remember how God’s mercy is shown to us in Genesis 18:24-26, I quote,
    “Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked that be far from thee: Shall not the judge of all the earth do right? And the Lord said, if I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.”

    You can see from this scripture that God will surely spare our nation, because there are more than fifty righteous Christians living here. Now Jesus has told us that this world is inhabited by the children of the kingdom and the children of the wicked, and that He will not bring final judgement on the wicked until the end of the world, because He will not destroy the wicked while the righteous are here.

    At the end of the world Jesus said in St Matthew 13: 41, – 43, “The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”And so, that is how we can be confident that God will not let us be overwhelmed by these recent troubles that we face in our nation. Praise God, for every born-again believer that God has placed in our lands.


  4. @ Heather,

    I hear you there! And there are blessings and frustrations in both family life and professional life; for me at least, I can’t tease them out from one another.


    That may not be exactly how I would articulate it, but that is one great way to tie together some of those threads of understanding how wheat and tares exist together, and what our faithful response must be.

    Thanks for reading and commenting!


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