16 October 2008

a man as an island and the village it takes to sustain him

(Last preaching-related message, I promise...)

There is a perception that a preacher is sort of an island unto himself, a great source of wisdom and thought. He studies privately, stews mysteriously over biblical complexities, and then explodes onto the scene on Sunday morning to deliver a message to the yearning masses, an accomplished soloist in front of an amateur orchestra of willing emulators.

That’s always how I sort of imagined it anyway…

The unseen beauty of the whole process is behind the wizard’s curtain. On Sunday, I had no fewer than a dozen people ask me if I needed anything. I had a dedicated wife and Jeff’s dedicated assistant (as well as her own self-styled “executive assistant”) just waiting for me to call on them. I had bananas delivered (from what felt like heaven) to help keep my energy up between services. I had fresh cold water waiting to soothe my throat. I had constant encouragement and my wife’s reassuring eyes supporting me at every opportunity. I had true friends speaking love and life into a weary body when it was all over.

I guess my point is that I was shocked at how many people really contribute to the message that seems to come from one man on a stage on Sunday morning. And I guess those people don’t often get a lot of public credit. They won’t get much public credit here either, as they are too many to name. But they know who they are and what role they played. I hope they know that one more person knows just how much effort they put forth. I won’t soon forget.

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