Two months ago, I asked God for a mentor. His response was one I didn’t expect. Start a mentoring program at your church.
I was torn. The idea was strong, but so was my understanding of my own shortfalls. I don’t have a lot of free time. I’m scattered. Loose. Willing, but not necessarily able all the time.
God said that was okay. God said He had able covered.
So I took a deep breath, and one Sunday after church, I shared my idea with our pastor’s wife, Linda. She lit up. Yes, she said. We should do this.
I hammered out a framework late one night when the girls were in bed. Linda and I met for lunch. Yes, she said again. You’re on the right track. She gave me a mentoring how-to book. I read it, and got overwhelmed.
I wanted this to be simple, I told my husband. So keep it simple, he said, and kissed my forehead.
Then another hurdle. Put together a training session. Lead it. I felt a little like Moses. Me God? I’m about as qualified as a snail.
I said something similar to Linda and to Jan, a pillar in our church’s women’s ministry. God will anoint you. Just watch. He’ll show up, said Jan.
Somehow, that was comforting. Anoint sounded foreign, but I knew what it meant to show up. I also know God does that. He shows up. And often, all I have to do is ask.
I asked. I prayed in tired, run-on sentences on Saturday night as I made labels and stuffed folders. It felt a little like my former job prepping for Board meetings, and suddenly, I woke up. I was gathering. Preparing. Listing and checking. Saving files and wrapping up all the details I could remember.
Give me the right words. Clear ideas.
And suddenly it was Sunday afternoon, and there they were. The names from the list turned into real live women, and I got excited. This was happening.
The next two hours were a blur. I spoke the things that had been in my heart – things that made sense to me in the context of mentoring and being mentored. I talked about Naomi and Ruth, and respect and expectations and willingness. Jan read a letter from Linda, who couldn’t be there. We all went into sugar bliss from the outpouring of homemade treats. I sat down with my own amazing mentor, and felt a light click on in both our spirits.
At the end, I watched two women talking and laughing in the parking lot. Around them, the late September wind was warm and dry, and every angle of the landscape reverberated orange and red and yellow.
I know it sounds weird to say, but I tangibly felt their happiness. It was as if the space itself around them was alive and full of connection.
It brings to mind the chorus from Channels Only, a ridiculously old hymn that comes to me sometimes, as songs from growing up in a small country church are apt to do.
But with all Thy wondrous power
moving through us
thou canst use us
every day and every hour.
This was never about me. This was about a group of women who all felt the same way I did, and simply needed a pair of hands and a voice to connect them. Channels only.