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Dear Pastor,

When I wrote you a few weeks ago, I thought it was a one-off. I had something to say, I said it, moving on. But, who are we kidding =)? I’ve never lacked for opinions — again, why you love me (mostly!).

Let’s picture that it is before noon when I stop by this time, so instead of diet coke I have hot tea in a mug I bought in Scotland. There is a sheep on it and words on the inside rim remind me as I sip “Ewe are not the boss,” good for more than a chuckle.

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last letter and I thought it would be good to share with you things I learned from the comments left. I don’t want us to move on too quickly and miss this chance.

{“Not likely with you in my flock,” you say under your breath.

“I’m sorry, I missed that.”

“Never mind.” You smile at me and we both know I heard you. I smile back, take a sip and launch into what’s been bouncing around in my head, heart, and soul.}

The letter is still being read and as of today has been read by 57,764 people. Even now, it’s still getting more than 100 hits a day. I know. Clearly something is going on. Here are six broad categories from the comments left:

1.  You are a good shepherd! Repeatedly comments from pastors shared how much they genuinely care for their people. You often get a bad rap based on the poor behavior of a few. Thanks for loving and serving us.

2. The people have voted on standing: please don’t. Most mom’s and non-moms resonated with the awkwardness of it.

3. Often Mother’s Day praises women and Father’s Day slams men. Have some dads been dead beats? Sure. But most likely the men in your flock are not in that camp. If fathers need to be challenged, fine. But find another day to do it.

4. Question: Which holiday was Mother’s Day compared to more than any other? Answer: Veteran’s Day. Surprised? I was. But I think the MD/VD comparison comes because both speak to sacrifice, lack of appreciations, a band of brothers/sisters, and a committment that no one is left behind.

5. I missed a few categories!

To those who have aborted children, we remember them and you on this day

To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children, we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be

To those who step-parent, we walk with you on these complex paths

To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren, yet that dream is not to be, we grieve with you

6. The biggest take away: people long to tell you these kind of things but aren’t sure how to share. It’s easier to comment on music, carpet, and coffee, giving you the impression that we don’t hold back our opinions and that these are the most important things going on in our lives. They are not.

I like these chats; they help us to move from the kiddie pool of community into scary deeper water where we can do more than splash around.

Warmly and still in your corner,

your sheep, Amy

p.s. What do you wish you could tell your pastor?