Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Some Miscellaneous Notes

The family went out to eat at Wendy's yesterday evening. My oldest daughter went to the bathroom after the meal and when she returned she had turned her shirt, a white turtleneck, around. Walking up to the table, she remarked what she had done. I asked her to turn around and when she did there was a stain at the tail of her shirt.

"I turned it around so no one could see it."

I laughed. Hard. How often do we try to cover up our sin in such a way that we cannot see it but it becomes readily noticeable to everyone else?


I stopped by to visit with the nursing home residents of our church yesterday as well. While visiting with one 89 year old lady whose hands are riddled by arthritis, the nursing assistant brought her lunch and I had the joy of blessing her meal and helping her eat it. No, I didn't eat half of it; her hands don't function the way they ought to because of the crippling disease within so I helped her get the food to her mouth. How grateful she was!

When the lady dropped her meal off, Mrs. Francisco remarked that I was her pastor. We introduced ourselves and she asked me what church I pastor. After exchanging pleasantries, she asked me a remarkable question.

"What else do you do?"

"Huh? I don't think I understand. What do you mean?"

"I mean, what other job do you have?"

"Oh! I'm a full-time pastor."

Incredulous: "Oh...mmm...OK. It was a blessing meeting you."

Dumbfounded: "You, too."

To give a bit of necessary context, the lady was African-American. I have been blessed to get to know many of the other African-American pastors in our community and county at large. Of all the ones I have met, they all work secular jobs as well as pastor their respective churches. I was taken aback when she discovered that pastoring was all I do.


Say a prayer for my baby brother. He is tying the knot this weekend. I get to stand up and be a groomsman and I'm kind of glad I'm not doing the ceremony. I don't want to be held personally responsible when she discovers his true demeanor and runs off. I mean, he might pop out of the washing machine and scare the poor girl half to death.


And finally, a picture of #4 to conclude. The irony is that it was really cold that day. Notice the disparity.


SelahV said...

Tony, your daughter is adorable! our sins will find us out, won't they? My husband got this question quite often--"what do you do the rest of the week?" His family thought all he did was preach on Sundays and occasionally officiate at funerals and weddings. Ever wonder what the world thinks preachers do?

love mixed-bag blog posts. selahV

Tony said...

But Selah, did you notice the disparity???

Yeah, I once saw a young feller out at Wal Mart one evening and he kept looking at me kind of strange, wondering...he finally asked me what in the world I was doing out and not at the church. i guess preachers are kind of like teachers; they stand in a closet all day until time to preach/teach.

kat said...

It's interesting how people relate to us in certain contexts. My husband is really "tri-vocational"... He is a CPA, a grain farmer, and one of three elder/shepherds in our church. People know him as their tax man, the guy who often preaches on Sundays and leads Bible studies, or as their neighbor who combines their wheat and corn.
There is never any question about what he does "the rest of the week", but his day job, seasonal job and leadership role in the church all open up unique opportunities to interact with people.
Perhaps some people find it hard to connect with those who they perceive to be only "spiritual specialists", unconnected with the realities they face themselves.

Tony said...


You're probably right. There are times when my role as a full-time pastor has opened up opportunities to talk with people and share the Gospel; other times, not so much. I have been stopped dead in my tracks, like I had rancid cheese hanging around my neck or something.

And I know you didn't mean this at all, but I am just drawing a distinction from your comment. It is a false dichotomy to think that pastors are somehow unconnected from the world.

I still have a life, children to tend to, a home to maintain, food that must be put on the table, etc. In some instances I have seen the nobility of the pastorate heavily diminished.

I certainly don't want to be seen as a "spiritual specialist" and I hope I don't come across to anyone that way; blogosphere and the folks down the street. I am just an average guy learning to follow Jesus just like every other Christian.

Its good to "see" you!

Ramblin' Rose said...

Hi Tony,
Great analogy you saw in your daughter turning her stained shirt around.

It's too bad that the nursing assistant didn't see what you were doing there at the Nursing Home was part of "what you do". And, what a blessing to Mrs. Francisco you were.

I loved the story about your baby brother! Made me laugh too! Boys!

Your little daughter is adorable! I see the "disparity", if what that means is she has on a jacket, yet her feet are bare. Too cute!

God bless you,
Rose (a friend of SelahV)

Tony said...

Hi Rose,

Ha! Yes, you got it!!! Wonderful!

Welcome to my blog! I am so glad to have you stop in and comment.

SelahV is the greatest, isn't she? I am thankful she recommended you drop in and visit me.

I wondered the same about visiting with Mrs. Francisco and why that didn't register with her. Granted, it sure isn't back-breaking labor, but nonetheless noble in my estimation.

Hope to see you again.