This happened, in the last church I served . . .
When my cell phone is set to stun, it sometimes seems more like a growl.
Okay, it’s not really on “stun,” (like the old in-the-future Star Trek hand phasers) but the phone’s silent mode is certainly not silent. When a call comes through, the phone shakes, vibrates and, yes, seems to growl a warning.
Its growl was honest the other day. Warning. Watch out. Grrrr!
I was preparing for an early evening meeting, doing a few minutes of endless catch-up office work, when my phone rang (Grrrr!). It was maybe 6:15.
“Are you the pastor?”
“Yes I am.” I didn’t recognize the voice, didn’t recognize the name, but suddenly I was plunged into a conversation with a person who was alternately crying, ranting, pleading, and asking VBGs: Very Big Questions. I mean BIG questions, the sort that can barely fit under a circus’ tent or in a major league ballpark.
Why don’t people love me?
Why can’t I find a relationship?
Why does God ignore my prayers?
Why am I so lonely?
No wonder my phone growled. Here was a person calling a church, seeking a pastor, in a time of crisis. Perhaps nearly every moment of their waking life was a crisis, but this particular moment had caused them to press a series of numbers on a phone pad to make a connection with another human being so they could . . . could what? Continue reading →