“Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood.” That is a line from the Animals’ hit song. (For the lyrics.) I remember the first time I heard it around 1966. I was a beginning drummer with some friends and I used to listen to it over and over on my BSR turntable, with my Realistic 20W set up. Headphones on banging away. For me it became something I did not understand. Why was I not understood? (Some might say it became self-fulfilling prophecy.) Others did that song like Joe Cocker and the Moody Blues, but no one did it like the The Animals. So, now that I stirred up some memories for some of you.. And for others, you may be asking “What is a turntable?” In other places in those lyrics, the singer declares, that his “intentions are good.” Before coming to Christ, I would have said that is fully me. With Christ, I quickly understood that it is not about trying, but about being.Over the years I have somehow felt like I was going through an identity crisis. Who am I? It began as a child and it has never stopped. I was raised (Can’t say “grew up” because we are waiting on that!) in an alcoholic family. I was misunderstood. My father drank and my mom coped. I always tried to be the “best” and when not successful, I resorted to not doing it. Easier to pretend it did not matter, rather than you could not do it, or in some cases even understand it. My relationships often reflected “best efforts” with feelings of not being understood. (I know that I am not the only leader who has felt “misunderstood.”) And I assure you that all my thoughts were towards making things gel and be right. (I am not saying I have no “problems,” but I am saying the difficulties I have encountered have often been the results of misunderstandings.)And so, as I began the walk of a Christian, I soon ran into similar thoughts and feelings. “Why do I not fit?” I began thinking all I wanted to do was follow Jesus. I was a drill instructor’s son. I understood the “army” approach. I told everyone I knew about Jesus. Turned my stores and business over to Jesus. Encountered a lot of “you have to do it this ways.” Tried. People did not understand my thinking process. Misread my words (For years I said I needed a translator.) and to be honest, I just felt like a misfit. A lonely person who saw why the “mystics” of the faith were who they were. (And the prophetic words continued coming towards me. “Seer, prophet, visions, dreams, etc.” and I would try to lean into them. I have hundreds of prophetic words. Ironically, they all pretty much say the same thing.
It has been many years of thinking before I came to a conclusion. The conclusion was and is, that being a pastor has not been my call. Now, anyone who has been around me any length of time understands what I am saying. And most likely are saying “duh.” I have “lost” so many friends who I poured my life blood into because they could not see my heart’s cry. Why? They needed a pastoral gift. Not a prophetic gift. (Will muddy the waters with that one later.) It was not crystallized until a few weeks ago. A woman had asked me to pray for her. I wanted to pray for her. I felt the Lord slide into gear with me. She had asked for direction. The words of the Lord flowed smoothly. I detected pain and difficult circumstance around her. The Lord dialed in on her. And then the words stopped. I gave her a hug and blessed her. That was not going to be enough. The situation involved the abuse of a young child, her granddaughter. I tried to talk with her, but I could not make the connection. Thank God for one of my associates being there. He has a lot more of “pastoral” running in his blood than I do. And he took over where I could not. I left that meeting feeling a little discouraged. Why? Because I could not meet the need she needed. It is not because I am not articulate or don’t care. My heart was breaking for her. (Before she told me.) She needed more of the pastoral than the prophetic. And one concern was that I would be misread and thought of not to care.
Misunderstood. It has brought me to a new place in my walk with Him. (People who need to be saved, need an evangelist. People who need a direction, need a prophet. People who need to change, need a teacher. People who need comfort, need a pastor. And people of the church, need the apostle. Church leading-administrative and governments.) There’s a part of me, that feels I may be getting “born again, again.” (So, maybe that is what my birthday (Actual today, party Saturday.) is all about!) Scary to think that the reason for my being misunderstood, might have to do with my personal programming. The fact of the matter is that I feel like I am finally growing into my “shoes.” I love the streets. I love the people. I love the excitement of taking God to the streets. I like being in worship and the like, but let me be the first to say, I am “out of my element” after that. Just the other day, I had a dream. In that dream, a ministry friend, took what I had been given and replicated. It was a picture. When I said it needed “more blue,” he flipped out. He told me he was “sick and tired of me lying to him about the picture.” (Even though I was holding the original in my hand.) He had me pushed back over a chair, telling me how could I say that to him. He had “just lost a friend” that morning. I tried to explain to him, that he was out of his gift. His “plagiarism” was not helping him or others. He began to calm down and weep. He had “tried” so hard to be someone he was not. His loss of a friend was because he had operated out of his gift. I woke up feeling pretty anxious. He had tried to kill me.
It has been an ongoing process, describing what I have seen. I will be writing more about it in the coming days.
Alyssa was recently gifted with a small van and is enjoying “her freedom.” The children are doing well, though we are working through a recent medical test that indicated Mariah has lead in her system. Jordan is involved in summer camp. Jacob is walking, etc.
Tyler has nearly completed his CDL course and is being tested for the “big rigs” on Monday.
Amy and I attended a Yankees game in NYC on Monday. A little adventure as Mapquest had an error and we spent 45 minutes or so driving around the “city.”
Matt is about 4 weeks from his move to New Mexico.
Cass is working in Burlington at a camp on Lake Champlain and enjoying it.
Tina was recently offered a new post in her company and is seeking God about it.
And while today is my actual birthday, I hope to see some of you at my birthday party on July 5th at Stoughton Pond. It will be at the gazebo. There is swimming, hiking, etc.. Contact my wife, Tina, for details.
The $64 dollar question.
Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same
Why did you just try singing the two songs above?