One Who Serves
The parson sat in the booth of a local restaurant. He was waiting for some colleagues to join him. The plan was to eat lunch while they discussed plans for extending outreach to people in need in their community. The parson was hungry. He’d missed breakfast. He gave an order for an appetizer to the server. She was prompt in returning with his food for which the parson was grateful. Thanking her he began to eat.If you liked this story, you will really enjoy the Methodist pastor's website: Questing Parson.
Gradually the others joined him. Each gave their orders which again the young lady filled promptly and with a smile. As they consumed the food and beverage, the talk began.
“What I envision,” said Fred, the pastor of First County Seat Church of the Upper Class Servants, “is a place where these folks can feel a sense of family. You know we go through life and we don’t pay any attention to the people around us. People are hurting. But they are just unseen by us. We need to do better.”
“I agree completely,” replied Robert, the new pastor at the Beginners Luck First Start Congregation, “people pass by hurting folks everyday and never get to know their story. We have to become more personal in our ministry. We have to reach out and actually touch the people around us. What do you think Parson?”
The parson replied, “I’m in total agreement.” He paused a moment as the server stepped over to refresh everyone’s drinks. “You know some of the most powerful words in the New Testament are “Jesus touched ….”
“That’s a good point,” interjected Henry, the District Coordinator for Caring Services, “we need to find better ways to reach out and touch those who have been ignored.”
The conversation continued along this vein. The parson kept out of the flow of talk for the most part. While he was delighted to be invited to take part he felt he was only an adjunct to these more active pastors. Something about the conversation however troubled him. He couldn’t put his finger on it.
Finally, the pastors agreed they would each approach their congregations about supporting a program that would extend a ministry of care to the marginalized, that would treat them as persons and affirm their worth.
The group rose to leave, each dropping a bit of money on the table for a tip. They headed for the cashier to pay for their separate meals. The parson paid first and waited outside on the walk for the others to exit. When they did a few joking remarks were made about their profession. Thanks were extended to each other for participating. And the each turned to leave.
Suddenly the parson realized the source of his unease. “Hey, fellows,” he called out, “anyone know the name of our server?”
The others shook their heads. No one did. “I don’t think she ever mentioned it,” said Robert.
“Her name is Andrea,” said the parson. “She’s a single mom with three kids who has recently moved here from Iowa because she lost her job. They live in a one room pay-by-the-week efficiency over on Highway 20. But she says with the Lord’s help they’ll get by. I thought you might want to know.”
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