One of my seminary professors once said, "in every marriage comes the point when you wake up and realize that you married the wrong person. What you do with that realization defines the health and longevity of your marriage."
I think that statement can be applied to many relationships, including those between friends, colleagues, and pastor/parishioner. At some point, you become aware of some of the "warts" of the other party, and have to decide whether to embrace them, warts and all, or simply walk away. I tend to be an "embrace them, warts and all" person in most of my relationships.
The honeymoon is over, on my part at least, in the sense that I no longer see BT (or even Mac, for the matter) through rose-tinted lenses. Nothing horrible happened and no harsh words were spoken: I still love the people of BT and still affirm how God works through them. I still love Mac (in a collegial, friendly, still-think-he's-awesome way) and definitely affirm how God works through him. I just see the warts in a much clearer way than I did a few weeks ago.
In a way, it's fairly liberating, because now the gloves are off and I feel much more comfortable being myself. That's also kind of scary, because I can be a "call-it-like-I-see-it" kind of person when I'm comfortable with someone. For example, there was the sadist remark that I made to Mac two weeks ago. And on Wednesday, I actually told Mac that I found his response to something I said "unsatisfactory."
Earlier this week, we had a finance meeting that was fairly...tense. Actually, it was more than tense. It involved raised voices and probably some hurt feelings. Giving is down, and since we have this huge mortgage, we're struggling to pay the bills and fund ministries. So, we're having to cut the 2011 budget, and our only wiggle room is in the areas of staffing and ministries. You get the picture.
I believe that God brought Mac and BT into my life for a reason, and vice versa. I wonder if that part of that involves me being a support/voice of reason for the leaders of BT and a support person for Mac. I know he has a strong support system in place (he's shared the details of that with me), but I'm really the only person among the leaders of the church who has nothing to lose, so to speak. My only agenda is to serve God and BT and to get myself ready to return to being a pastor.