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  • Nicholas T McDonald

Leaving a Hole.


A fog clouds my vision, and I’m struggling with words, hoping/praying something cogent pours out as I stand before forty eager, beautiful college-aged souls, sitting patiently, resisting the Siren call of their iPhones, staring watery eyed at me. Me. There I am, standing emotionally naked in a room of spectators, questioning my every word and thought:

“Do they understand me?”

“Can they tell I love them?”

“Do they care about this? How can I help them care?”

I said to a friend last week who’d been in the same line of work: “College ministry isn’t humbling. It’s humiliating.” He knew exactly what I meant.

There is something humiliating about ministry, especially, to me, about preaching. I’ve worked all my life trying to climb myself out of the hole of humiliation, to be someone clever, funny, respected and friendly.

But as I’ve climbed, and reached what I thought was the summit, I found Jesus awaiting me, shovel resting in calloused, pierced hands, Divine grit forming his brow, and near him, at his brittle, cracked sandals, the replica of that same hole I’d conquered, this time dug by Him. He’s inviting me back in, now willingly.

The thing I’d been leaving - as always - was Christ’s destination.


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