Monday, December 04, 2006

And It's Not Even My Birthday!

How's this for unexpected gifts?

Months ago, I lamented about how we were losing our fine preacher to a church in the South. Although I was happy for him and his family, I knew we were losing a great man of God who filled my mind and heart with food for thought. We have been on the search since then for another preacher. This has been an arduous task because not every minister wants to work with a large church.

After searching high and low, our church has found and signed a new preacher. (Yay God!) He and his family, who presently live in Memphis, came to a our church for a meet-the-congregation time on Saturday. I'm totally guessing that this couple is in there mid-to-late 40's - they have two children who are attending ACU. I was excited about meeting them because really anyone remotely from my area of the country, be it shipped in or raised from there, sends shivers of happiness down my spine. In some weird way, it's a home connection. As it turns out, this preacher preached at the church where Mr. Right and I were married. (It wasn't my home congregation, but it is where we selected to be wed.) So in a sense - a very stretched, loose sense - we have a connection.

Later that morning, I needed a pen and I noticed that the new minister had one in his pocket, so I saddled up to him and, because I have no manners, when he looked at me (while talking with another couple), I pointed at his pen and said, "I need to steal that pen a moment." He gave the okay, I retrieved it from his shirt pocket with a smile of thanks and took off.

A couple of minutes later when walking back to return his pen, I thought about my rudeness and I decided that I would have patience and wait until there was a break in his talking to other people. I went and stood beside him - but not too close... just around him, waiting patiently while he continued his conversation with a couple. In the middle of their conversing, the lady who was talking to the minister says, "I take it you have children." And here she looks directly at me and smiled an "I'm talking about you" smile.

I looked at our new preacher and then we both bursted out laughing. He's stating "Yes, but not her" and I'm saying "Now that's a classic! No, I'm far to old to be his daughter! But I love you for thinking it."

I think when they finally move here, I'm gonna call him Dad. Maybe he'll even give me some spending money.

And as if to reaffirm this spirit-lifting feeling, this conversation happened the following day yesterday at church. A friend with whom I used to go to college and was in the same club (15 years ago) was sitting across the aisle at church. Although she looked so elegant and grown up, I knew who she was the moment I saw her. I even recalled her first name, but for the life of me, not her last. That didn't stop me from walking up to her and saying, "D., it is so wonderful to see you again! I knew you the moment I saw you."

She looked at me with a smile and said, "Shalee, you haven't changed a bit. Seriously, you haven't aged and look exactly the same."

That, my friends, is so much better than being carded. I can't wait for my 20th high school reunion if this keeps up...

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