I just came in from my morning walk.
My devotions led me to this.
All stories happen with context.
I don’t know yours.
I seldom know all mine.
Sunday I was near the bottom.
When I walked Sunday morning I knew I was walking into a dwindling reservoir of whatever it is that has passed for a ministry which, for a pastor, is also a life.
I miss my friends that have gone.
I want desperately to honor the faithfulness and love of those who haven’t.
I don’t know what to say or do.
In that context my stories happened.
There is a couple who live in Foley.
They come to the lake once a month or so.
When they come they always, always, drop by MSLB for worship.
He, most every visit, offers a kind word before departing.
She normally doesn’t say much.
They were among us Sunday last.
He offered a kind word before departing.
I noticed she was hanging around.
In the quiet that came she approached.
She told me that she teaches community Bible Study down there in Foley and wanted to use my sermon as ground for an upcoming lesson,
I told her there must be a dearth of resources but sure.
Then she told me her husband doesn’t believe in a God and didn’t go to worship services.
Except when he comes to the lake.
She told me he leaves with some peace that is often lacking.
And some questions he doesn’t always ask.
“Pastor Pat, don’t quit.”
So there’s that.
Then I got a message from a young friend.
He thanked me for the sermon I preached Sunday.
He said “Hello Pat, Just wanted to send a message to tell you how much we all enjoyed your sermon yesterday. I woke up this morning feeling like I am less likely of having a major breakdown and more optimistic of having a major breakthrough. Thank you.”
So there’s that.
Then I talked with Uncle Dowe five minutes or so.
He has excellent long range radar and had sensed (from Lubbock) I wasn’t having my best days.
He reminded me that God doesn’t get active until he reduces things to the point they are useful.
God reduces things to be sure the fellowship is up to the fight.
Then he rings the bell.
This isn’t tinnitus.
That’s my context.
As our Friend and I walked toward a sunrise that is slowly dawning I thanked him for the stories that change the context. He smiled at me the way he does and said…
“The Light is about to shine. Fight.”