So today I did my usual Monday routine of starting out at the DuPont self-storage facility and then working at the Stellhorn facility in the afternoon. I had noticed awhile ago that one of the tenants there was a former seminary friend of mine. This afternoon he happened to come in and turn his keys in to move out of his storage unit. I didn't recognize him at first, nor him me, but once we realized who we were talking to we had a nice chat.
He graduated from seminary before I did. He was also one of the first pastor's to welcome me to Fort Wayne when I moved here. A super nice guy. Now he has his own roofing/construction business. It was somewhat of a surreal moment as we looked at one another in our "next" careers.
He told about the 11 1/2 years he spent pastoring small churches, and how he ended up being booted out, resulting in hospitalization and several years of recovery and healing. He has no desire to ever return to full-time ministry again. So I told him about my ordeal. It was both disturbing and somewhat comforting at the same time. Disturbing in that neither of us got any support whatsoever from our denomination (as well as being betrayed by the people we thought were our friends), and comforting in that it just takes a long time to heal. We are not alone. We gave it our best shot. All we wanted to do was help people. Perhaps we were called into ministry, and who's to say we weren't also released from it...
I don't know... it was one of those moments that you may have to experience to understand. Our wives and children probably understand it even more. We both agreed that the worst part of it was the way things ended and the broken relationships that resulted. It's like some people don't think we're real people too.
So... that happened today. I work for a self-storage company. He needed storage for his roofing business. Yep.