January 14, 2010

Seaons of Our Discontent

Thanks to those of you who have launched this site.

After 51 years as a minister's spouse, , including 9 appointments, mothering three sons, public school teaching, being active in our District and Conference spouses organizations, and now some 13 years in retirement, I can tell you how important this can be for those, both active and retired. I enjoyed each community in which we served. I adapted to a variety of parsonage situations [and sometimes "adapted" the parsonages!], entered into the life of each church as I would have done had my husband not been the minister...except that I tended to "lead from behind," as an enabler rather than an out-in-front person, found many friends [often outside the congregation].

Even so I knew times of discontent. Dr. Carlyle Marney addressed an opening Interpreter's House [Lake Junaluska, NC] interdenominational assembly of minister's wives with the words: "Minister's wives are the loneliest people in the world..." In that brief sentence he encircled this tired, misunderstood group of human beings in a warm blanket of caring and understanding. The relief was palpable. Then he went on,"...except for the doctor's wives..." We thought of MD's being called out at all hours and from any family activity [this was in the early 70's]...and conceded their loneliness...Dr. Marney continued, "...or the long-distance truckers' wives..." this, too was understandable..."or the traveling salesmen's wives..." and on through a long list.

By the end of his sentence we were all laughing. And he drew us back to the Center of Being around which our lives revolve. This did not end our problems, and there were some very troubled wives in our group. Certainly we left the retreat more aware of each other's needs and our interconnectedness, but also with a sense of our place in the human situation. A site such as this would have greatly facilitated our ministry to other spouses.Good luck in this particular ministry!


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