Sunday, January 08, 2012

Thank You From Mr. CrabbyPants

I admit it. I woke up crabby this morning. I had one of those dreams last night that you wouldn't even schedule on a late Halloween night horror show marathon. It was ugly. And it was right at the end of my night sleep so when I woke up from it the clock on the night stand told me not to bother trying to doze off again because, if I did, it was going to be the next thing to haunt me.

I hate alarm clocks.

So I got up and showered, dressed myself, ate a banana, and went to church. That is when everything changed. If I were not the pastor there is a fair chance that I would have just chalked this one up, rolled over, and tried to eek out a better dream before beginning the day. But when you are the pastor ... you go. But I'm human enough to admit that I wasn't smiling as I turned left on Old Collinsville Road.

And then I walked into Towerview Baptist Church. I was met at the door by a great guy. His name is Lynn. He always has a smile for me. And as a bonus he holds the door. I walked through the outer office and came across Ila. She is our Sunday Morning Secretary. Yeah. She smiled at me too. Her husband and my friend, Bob, is locked in a battle with Acute Leukemia and yet she shows up on Sunday morning and even has the juice to love on people. Next I met Trish in the hallway. She is our worship leader. She smiled at me and even patted me on the back.

That's when I noticed it. I was smiling back at them. The crabby's were gone. All gone. I walked through the entire morning being loved on by members of "my family." Nobody scowled at me or complained. Nobody smacked me upside the head (literally or figuratively.) They loved on their crabby pastor. Oh, true, they didn't know I was crabby. That doesn't matter. The fact that they loved ... that's the whole ball game. By the time I stepped onto the stage to teach them my own smile was genuine and fresh.

So this one is for you, Towerview family. I want you to know something. I love you. I really, really do. I love seeing you, I love talking with you, I love teaching you, I love being taught by you. Tonight we had a business meeting that was preceded by two hours of meetings. There was love woven through the fabric of all of that. You are reminding me what the church is about. You are reminding me why we are different than any club or organization. We serve and worship God together. When I showed up on your doorstep for the first time almost exactly three years ago God told me to begin teaching you "The Great Commandment." Love God ... and love people. Well, Towerview, you paid attention. I cannot think of one other place on the globe where I would rather "do church." And I can't think of one other group of people that I would rather "do church" with.

It is an honor to be your pastor.

It is an honor simply to be your friend.

I can never say "thank you" enough. But I'm going to say it anyway ... THANK YOU.