Sunday, February 1, 2009
Important Lessons of the Heart
Being a Preacher's Kid had its ups and downs.
Definitely more ups, though.
As I was braising meat for stew to take to
our Fellowship Meal at church today, my
thoughts wandered back to my childhood.
Maybe that is one of the blessings of time
at the stove...time to think!
My parents were as involved in the Church
as one could get. They lived it, they
breathed it. They walked the talk.
Dad was the Pastor. Mom was the perfect
Pastor's wife. Hosting, supporting, being
there when she was needed. Many days I
remember walking down the hallway in our
home and seeing her in her room at the
end of the hall, on her knees, earnestly
praying. I don't know what so burdened her
in those days...but I do know where she went
with those burdens.
What struck me this morning, however, was how
much of their work and concern was "outside"
the realm of the church building. For example,
there was a bar about a mile down the road from
our home. About two miles the other direction
lived the town drunk, I'll call him P. I remember P.
driving a beat up blue van. He would stop at our home when
he was very, very drunk. I have never seen him
sober. Except briefly that one night when he came to
church totally plastered. Found himself at the alter
as he began to sober up. Realized he had tears on his
face and asked Dad to distract everyone while he wiped
his tears and got out of there....
During his stops P. would get closer than we kids
would have liked...given his state. He really liked
my brother for some reason...Perhaps he reminded him
of his own young son.
He would play the piano.
He would "expound on the scriptures", such as,
"Man cannot live on bread alone...he must have
Skippy's Peanut Butter!" Said with a slur.
He would stink up the house.
I never, never saw either of my parents be rude to
this man. Ever! They would start the coffee and
talk to him until he sobered up enough to continue
on his way...or until he decided he was ready to go
on. It wasn't always that long.
Eventually this man's wife developed cancer.
My parents were devastated. She was a wonderful
woman who already had so much to deal with. They
walked through radiation with her. All the while
befriending her husband and working with him.
Their son, G., would come to our place to "dig
fishing worms" with my Dad. He started bringing
Finally the wife succombed to her cancer. Oh, how
my parents struggled over little G. Being at home
with this man so consumed by drink.
You see, my parents did all they could do in the
church. Then they followed the Lord's leading and
guiding in this life and so many others.
That example meant so much to me.
Shortly before Daddy died he received a call saying
that our friend, P. had passed away. Little G., now
a grown man wanted Dad and Mom at the funeral. They
went. Oh, how quickly life's cycle ticks by.
30 years gone...
just like that!
There are so many hurting people.
Sometimes they don't look, act or smell loveable.
But, who did Jesus love?
To whom did He give so much of His time?
Jesus spent time with those within the "church"
but He also ate with sinners, He healed the sick,
and He cast out the demons.
I learned from my parents that it is not easy to
be a desciple of God. Sometimes it calls us to
go places and do things that are uncomfortable.
But the rewards are eternal.
One life changed by the power of God brings the
Angels to their feet in a dance of joy!
Can you see it?
Oh what a blessed thought!
May we see those around us as Spiritual Beings in
need of a Saviour.
May we answer the call.