Today has been one of those frames that you can see life through.
Friday for me has always been the day I get serious about writing the Sunday morning sermon. Up to this point in the week I've done my study of the text and spent some time walking around with it within me, listening for God to speak. (When I wrote that I knew someone out there would read this and laugh out loud, because every preacher knows God only talks to you on Saturday night.) :)
So I got into the office and did something I almost never do - I left the blinds closed. It's the universal symbol for "leave me alone, I'm doing important stuff!"
I had been at it five minutes when a knock came on the door, and into my world walked the reason I am what I am. She wanted me to know how much she appreciated my wife Bunny's prayers, and our love and care for her family. She spoke of what they were going through, and what she was going to do. I prayed, she left.
And my heart ached for her and her husband. They face tough days ahead, and it hurts to know that.
I'll be here six years in August. For the first couple of years, I was trying to do a job. For the next two I was trying to build a church. Now I'm trying to be God's hands and feet as he loves these people. Going from worrying about sermon construction, flow, and delivery to agonizing over what the people who face me every Sunday go through has made a real change.
Used to I'd have gone right back to work after an experience like that. Today instead I went right back to praying for her, and that led into an extended time of prayer for several others within the congregation. The sermon didn't get written.
But I know I did exactly what God wanted me to do.
Lest you think it's because I've learned so much about the people here, you should know that the vast majority have come in the last two years. Different faces abound.
But after 5 years, the pastor showed up for work.
It's good work.