This morning, as I was getting ready to go out to a meeting a knock came at the back door
I was irritated, I was on my way to a meeting after all
But, I opened the door with a smile, as my old farmer stood there
He is in his 80s
and he is a real couthy man...
a country man through and through
when I first met him I was very unsure
he called at my back door, just as today, unannounced
"Ye'll be puttin the kettle on then?"
it was more of a demand than a request
but, that's the country way
When I first met him, he interrogated me, about family, and fiance, and previous parish and it felt like prying
Another time he arrived before 9 am, and I was still in my gownie... I sent him away, and told him not to call before 10 in future!
I soon realised, he's a country farmer
say it like it is
good or bad, and you'll be fine
you always know where you stand
Today, it was 9.15 am
so, he asked, "am I too early? will I go way again?"
But, I was ready to go out to a presbytery committee meeting, so I was dressed, and, something in his demeanor made me feel that actually, spending time with him, was way more important than the Presbytery Annual Accounts!
I made him tea
We sat and chatted, about nothing in particular
As I waited for him to get to what was bothering him
He dreams of dying
He dreams of paradise
He said to me, "I used to be on the precipice, now I'm down in the valley"
He smiled as he said, "It's you who has done that. It's you who has given me hope. I hope I'll one day cross the river, I never thought I'd have that..."
and then, after his tea was drained from the mug, and he'd stood up to go, he said, "if I phone you one day Julie, will you open the church, so I can take the missus in for a wee while?"
O my Lord!
These are the moments of grace and joy and love that make all the endless committees, and talking, and accounts and reports worthwhile
This is what ministry is about
these unexpected, golden moments
The joy of a good blether
The joy of Christ in another's face
The thin moments, when God is fully present
When God's gentle breath touches the very heart
a good blether