I wonder…what is the strangest request you’ve received for helping another?
This guy walked into my church office. He wasnâ€™t looking for transformation. Nope. He was in search of a transmission. Could my church buy him one? Ah, those desperate, pleading looks!
I do remember him. There was also the young woman who wanted a textbook, the couples who wanted to be married, the fellow who was absolutely honest about booze (and the many who werenâ€™t). The endless folks that wanted a motel room for the night (and a few times for a week). In over twenty-five years of parish ministry, a multitude came into my office: â€œPlease, Pastor, could you . . .â€
How many thousands of dollars did I, for Christâ€™s sake, give away? Which was fine. Sometimes the person pulled a scam, and sometimes the truthâ€”even about the boozeâ€”was shared. In that quarter century of as a local church pastor maybe two or three peopleâ€”totalâ€”paid the church back. But everyone said they would.
The guy who wanted the transmission said heâ€™d give the money back as soon as he could return home. The church I served then had a generous pastorâ€™s discretionary fund and we did indeed help him. He drove away. And no, he wasnâ€™t one of the handful that paid his debt. But hey, every time I say the Lordâ€™s Prayer, I remember . . . forgive us our debts. Or trespasses. Or transmissions.
How have you helped another?