I did want to say, though, how wonderful it was to have all the ministers show up on Monday, while Dad was in surgery. There’s a part of my dad’s work that we’ve not really been privy to–his work with other ministers. I mean, I could tell you that he’s always sought out or started monthly ministers’ breakfasts, where all the clergy in town are welcome to come and just talk and be heard by other people who understand what they’re going through.
And I could list for you all his complaints about how isolated Methodist ministers are from each other and how hard that can be on them, especially on folks just starting out in the ministry.
But I really had no idea of the true scope of what he does to combat that, until minister after minister showed up to sit with us–not to minister to us, but to be there for him. One guy found us at breakfast and talked for a long time about how important it was to him that my dad would go out to breakfast with him and help him negotiate congregational issues and give him perspective on problems he’s having with the church he’s serving.
Another minister said that they couldn’t afford to lose my dad, so if he needed his ass kicked for any reason, if he wasn’t doing what the doctors said or if he was giving us a hard time or if he refused to get out of bed, to just let him know and he’d be over to help.
That meant a lot to me, to put it mildly.
My dad is a complicated man and we’re probably never going to have an easy relationship, but I love him and it makes me proud to know that other people love him, too.
This, to me, on its best days, is what the Church looks like.
And I do miss that part.