I came across this from a post on the blog of Chris Gallagher. This is nice and I thought I’d share it. Thanks so much to everyone in my life who offers constant encouragement. You mean more to me than you’ll ever know.
It was July of 1997, I had just sat down to dinner with my beautiful wife and the phone rang. As Carrie finished setting the table, I gave her a nod and went into the other room to take the call. I returned dressed in a suit, tie and polished dress shoes. She was just sitting down for the steak dinner she had fixed for us and we were both looking forward to a peaceful night. I informed her a member at the congregation just had a massive stroke and I was called to the hospital. So, the life of a minister began. I gave her a kiss and walked out the door…
The life of a minister has been described as fishbowl. Our lives are constantly on watch by the membership and those outside the church; just like watching fish in a fishbowl. The fishbowl is only enhanced as his salary is posted and critiqued for all to hear. His job is critiqued because many never see the countless hours of sermon preparation, Bible class preparation, prayer and other work put into the ministry.
Before you go searching him, I must warn you of several things:
- Do not be surprised when you go to see him if he is not there. While he may have an office or a study, he has beautiful feet that carry him to the troubled, the lost, the weary and those in midst of turmoil. While most people only see the time he is in the pulpit, others see him elbow deep in helping, counseling and leading those who need help.
- If you do find him do not be surprised if you find a Bible in his hand. When he sits to relax, the message for the coming Sunday is on his mind. When he drives in his car listening to the radio, he is just gaining illustrations that he will present to seekers of the truth.
- If you find him at his house, do not be surprised. He might have been up all night with the hurting: spiritual, emotional and physical. If the phone rings at 3:00 am he will answer. If you need him at 2:30 am, he will meet you. He leaves his family for many hours at a time to be there for others and their families. So if you find him with his family, respect him.
- Lastly if you do find him, tell him that you care about him. Tell him you are concerned about him and his family. Let him know that you came to visit him because of him, not because of his position in life. Tell him you depend on him and he can depend on you.
Do not be surprised if when you tell him you care about him if he smiles or sheds a tear. You might be the only one outside of his family that has told him that lately. While he may spend all his time visiting others, no one visits him. You may be the one to encourage the man of God to preach another day.
To my preaching brethren, thank you. Thank your love and for your concern for others. Without your love and concern, the things you do would not be possible. To your wives, may God reap billions of blessings on her head for being there for you. To your children, I wish God’s greatest strength and encouragement for them. You are my friends, my co-workers and most of all, my brothers.
I love the ministry and I love the path in life I have chosen.