Monday, March 19th. The 27th day of Lent.
Tonight I met Chris Chappell for a beer and conversation. When Chris’ family joined Covenant Baptist Church in 1990 he was a sophomore in high school. One of his sisters was an 8th grader. The other a 5th grader.
Now Chris is in his 30s. He has four kids. His sisters are both married with children as well. It is a matter of some pride for me that I was their pastor for so long. I married all three of them and was there for the birth of most of their children. Chris called me and said, “It seems so weird to be at church and not have you there. I miss talking to you. Maybe we could get together.”
Well, hell yeah we can. And so we did. We met at a local pizza place. He had a Red Stripe Beer and I had a Diet Coke.
I heard about his job and his kids and all of that. And I told him what life is like for me these days. Told him about how delightful it is for me to earn my living with work done during the week. How nice it is to feel like I leave my job when the day is over. I explained to him why I haven’t been back to Covenant for quite a few weeks. It’s hard for me to be there without feeling a lot of the old feelings. And anyway, I think maybe I’m at the Episcopal Church in part because there can be no temptation for me to slip into leadership. I’m not qualified to do anything there, and that’s a good thing for me in this new season.
We laughed. Hugged. Said we would do this again. And after he left I thought to myself, “Those were good years. What I did was good and it meant something to some people. And it meant something to me. I’m glad I was a preacher for all that time.”
Now I’m at home. And I feel good to be here, typing away at the computer. I feel happy and good and at a right place with life.