Kelly In Catty

This blog is Kell's attempt to keep in touch with friends far away who complain that I don't e-mail nearly enough.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

A Lesson on Remembering

A HEADS' UP: I discuss my faith in this post. I'm just telling you this up front - in the event it may bother you... You certainly have my permission to skip it if you want... You can even make any comment you like. I won't mind at all.

I’m a certified, dyed-in-the-wool introvert. Meyers-Briggs told me so. I really didn’t need a personality test to prove my quieter nature. Yes, I sing in a band... but I don’t do a lot of talking. I find that when I do - If I say anything too personal, I turn red... I’ve even written songs that were too personal to sing... Even if they were about something pretty neutral - like how I feel about Autumn... I’m private. It’s so much easier to sing someone else’s heartfelt lyrics. I’d rather just hide behind my sense of humor.

This inkling of mine was challenged the other day - in church - where all I’ve been looking for is a little inspiration.

A visiting pastor spoke on 2 Timothy. Paul was discussing those in his ministry. Some were a great encouragement - some were quite a hindrance to his ministry. The speaker mused that it must be quite something to get an actual mention in scripture as someone who caused Paul great heartache... It got me thinking about the people in my life who have had influence. Immediately, the pastor from my former church in Michigan came to mind. As if a dusty window had been cleaned, a flood of light flooded my memory. Dave’s were among the first sermons I ever remembered. He was the man who told me communion was all about being rejoined with Christ - “Do this in ‘re-MEMBER - ance’ of Me...” He also spoke about dogs in heaven...

On one particularly strong memory was of him approaching the pulpit. It was after a very difficult time in his life. He looked defeated, and said this was the first time in his 20 years as a pastor he had no prepared sermon. He spent the next hour talking to his family - sharing his disappointments, heartache and recent feelings of inadequacy. It moved me in two important ways:

First: I’d never known any church official to be so open to his congregation. I came from a long history of church secrecy. Sunday meant proper attire, smiles, and a willful desire to be happy in the Lord - even if our lives were falling apart. On most Sundays, I was greeted with smiling faces and lingering handshakes. I recall meeting a woman in a church parking lot. I asked her how she was doing. Instead of answering the question, she flashed her best Sunday smile and said with a distinct Long Island accent, “Everyday’s a wondahful day with Jee-sis.” I smiled my best Sunday smile, even though I longed to retort, “No, it’s NOT!”

Second: I can’t believe how much Dave raised my expectations of what church should be like. If I could hear honesty like that, I may have paid more attention. Growing up, if I felt any connection with people or what life as a Christian was like, I’d have tried harder to be better. Maybe I’d have had better friends, and sought people out more. Who knows?

I am not criticizing church - at least not on purpose... I’m just honoring the people involved in showing me something true and lasting... Where I think the church in general may have a few things to improve on in the social sciences, I’m still a Christian - and seek to live my life remembering that Christ sacrificed his life to secure mine. AND. I’m actually glad that my time listening to Dave raised a bar for me. How often does anyone do that? Wow.

Back to the 2 Timothy sermon. I thought maybe it was time to put my money where my mouth was and, like Paul - write a letter. I thought I’d look Dave up on the internet and send him a note. Thankfully, he’s still at the same church in Michigan, and was easy to find. So I wrote: I told him all of the above - and thanked him for being one of the good ones.

I figured that was that. Not twenty minutes later, I received a note from Dave. He actually told me my e-mail was better than a paycheck, and I made his day. He kind of made mine too.

I’m not telling you this as a point of my personal holiness. It’s just that I got a perspective and wanted to pass it on. I’ve since started sending e-mail, short notes, and thanks when I can. It seems like the right thing to do...


  • At 12:01 PM, Blogger Trixie said…

    Very few people take time to thank those who have had a lasting impact on their lives - let alone those who have done them a simple good turn. A big hug and kudos to you.


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