“Is Sue here?” he asked.
I was just coming out of the ladie’s room and my head popped up when I heard my name. He stood at the service counter in the small computer shop my husband and I owned.
“Hi, Jim,” I said, smiling and walking over to see what he wanted.
“I’d like your permission to use your children’s story for the Sunday after Christmas.”
I’d dropped the story off at our pastor’s office the week before and told him it might be suitable for that Sunday. It took all of my courage to do so and I hoped he wouldn’t think I was full of myself supposing I could write anything worthwhile. In other years he'd read real books, with glossy covers and beautiful artwork. Mine was on just a few sheets of paper. But here he was asking to use it and I was so pleased. Of course I gave him my permission. It took me quite a while to calm down after he left the shop.
That was the first sign. The secomd sign came from the same man in a sermon I’m sure he’s forgotten.
I barely remember, okay, I flat out don’t remember, the scripture passage for the day, what was going on in the world or church at the time, or even how long ago it was. Probably twelve years, at least. But his voice was gentle as he strode back and forth delivering the day’s message. The context of his sermon (I think) was our perception of our lives and how we could best serve the world and each other. Heads nodded and some of us smiled. But, among all the many words that he’d worked so hard to give us, these eight came at me like a pillow filled with goose down. Whoosh.
“Go ahead and have a dream for yourself.”
My world stopped for a beat. I can’t remember another thing he said after that, but I knew I had been touched. Not ordained by God for any grand purpose, but messaged. You know? Like a note from on high, long awaited. To give blessed assurance of where you probably thought you were headed.
You never know when something you say or do will have a profound affect on someone’s life. I’m guessing Pastor Jim Slater has no idea of the role, subtle though it was, he played in the dream realized by this lowly parishoner. But there you have it.
One of the reasons I write – is because of him.
PS: That children’s story was Mary’s Sparrow, one some of you have read.
Image: Free Digital Photos