The Best Day of My Life  

Posted by Ben in

Yes, that's a serious title. Though I might not recall all days and there might be some days which in fact surpass this day, but for all intents and purposes for my life today and tomorrow, this morning was the best day of my life.

Why you ask?

I am interning with a Church of the Nazarene in Casey, Illinois. Casey is a a very small town of about 3,000 people. It is a rural midwest community where everyone either farms or works in a factory. It is a different pace of life than i am accostumed to. There is beauty to the fact that i see someone i know at every turn and every corner. I love the frequency of a casual friendly wave here.

So, back to my story. Todd Holman, the youth pastor i'm interning with, started taking his teenagers to the local nursing home for sunday school. They sing some songs and teach a little Bible lesson. Well, Todd has the majority of his teenagers taking a membership class during sunday school right now and he is helping teach it. He was afraid they'd have to forego the nursing home ministry for the next month until the membership class was over. He asked me if i wanted to do it for the month of June and keep it going. I said I'd love too. In fact i told my three best friends about it almost immediately because i was so excited.

I thought i would have some help. Well, no help showed up today. The lady who was going to come help and play some piano had to take care of her husband; and Robby, another college student studying Youth Ministry, set his alarm for 8pm and was nowhere to be found. So there I was on my own, and Todd says "I mean, you can do it, right? You'll be alright. Why not?"

I have never felt more uncomfortable and unprepared. I had prepared to talk to them from 2 Corinthians. But that's all i had. I had no music and everyone tells me "They LOVE music." Oh boy. However, there I was. I could have said "I can't do it, I am just not comfortable." However, is a sigh of relief an emotion that comes from loving people? As I have said before in my blog, when i feel completely uncomfortable in every way doing something, that's when i know i'm in the right place, doing the right thing.

So I got in the car and got down the road and eventually pulled up at front door. I was shaking and nervous. I said a quick prayer, asking that God would take care of it and that everything would go well. I started by setting off the alarm at the front door, excellent. So I introduced myself and asked where my group was. They had them all congregated into the main living room. So the resident was nice enough to turn the television off for me and a nice lady sitting in the front asked me "are you gonna preach now?"

I wouldn't necessarily call it preaching, more of a discussion of hope, talking to a group of people who understand more than any other when Paul says that the troubles of this life will soon be overshadowed by the glory of eternal blessing and eternal life. The same lady in the front row kept interrupting me to ask "How did the Pastor know i'd be in the front row?" Her name was Patsy. She had a birthday recently, she turned 58 or 59, she can't remember. Sadly, truth be told her birthday was three weeks ago and she's far older than 59. It was hard to get through what i wanted to say and on top of that, there was no response from 90% of the patients. Most of them were mostly unable to respond so it seemed.

At the end, I asked them if they'd like to sing Amazing Grace. Patsy's face lit up, as did another quiet lady's in the back. Patsy said "Oh yes! Very much!" So we sang Amazing Grace, a capella. Suddenly, those who couldn't hear me speaking (even though i was yelling) and couldn't physically respond to what was going on, began to hum. Some sang. All were off timing and off pitch. It was such a beautiful sound. Some who couldn't sing simply moved their heads, or their hands, you could see the music entering each's heart, drawing them into the Lord's presence. Certainly it was not my great singing, in fact the few who sang and did so far off pitch and timing, were ushering my heart to the throne. Once again I saw lines of demographics destroyed, old and young, healthy and sick, all brought together as one at the foot of the King. A gospel which crosses all lines and includes all people.

After the service, Patsy asked me if i would wheel her to her room so she could get a soda. I took her to her room. I was honored, and kindly obliged. As I took her to her room I could not wipe the smile off of my face. I was beginning to understand "Small things with great love."

I brought her back out, told her i'd see her next week, and her and the other lady in the back told me that they had enjoyed having me and would look forward to next week.

"As will I," I replied......... As will I.

This entry was posted on Sunday, June 8, 2008 at 12:31 PM and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

2 comments

beautiful beautiful story!

June 8, 2008 at 8:04 PM

My name is Earnestine and my husband's name is Walter...get me a pillow...I want a cookie! What characters! What an awesome place!

July 7, 2008 at 8:28 AM

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