Monday, February 15, 2010

The Southern Wind's Are Calling

Yesturday Pastor preached his last sermon. It was hard to sit through, all the emotions going through the room made our minds seem moonstruck. The skit team performed for morning service and it was done flawlessly. Rachel and Joe played Susan and Pastor (Joes wig, which was spray-painted 15 minutes before, was the icing on the cake), while Daniel and I played Bobby and Alice (two made up characters from New Mexico). This is the second skit that I have been "Alice" in, I don't know why, the name seems to fit. Rachel played Susan so well, especially her incessant jabber on marriage, which we depicted by having Rachel presume that Daniel and I were a couple and swiftly pulling a white wedding dress from her bag insisting that Daniel and I should marry within the week. The crowd roared, and Pastor sat not three feet from us with a crooked smile. After the skit me and Rachel walked out of the Sactuary and bounced about the church enterance silently giggiling, each sporting a grin that stretched from one ear to the other. We high-fived the guys as they came through the doors about a minute later while they tryed to play down their excitement that they found hard to hide. This is what it is like after every skit and I adore it, I adore being in ministry even more. It feels like a million bloodpumps through your body all at once.
Nothing is equal to the feeling you get the second after the curtain sails close.

That was just the beginning of the day. At the end of service, when Pastor asked Foley to approach the stage all the hearts in the room began to beat with severe intensity, for we knew it was time. Praying for Foley came easy, but when Pastor and Susan took center spot in the front with all hands raised towards them, I found prayer the last thing I was capable of. I found difficulty even speak through the flowing tears that I tried frantically to wipe. When the noise of tongues finally subsided and Luke prophesied, waiting for the translation the only sound heard was the sniffles of the various noses throughout the room. God gave his blessing to Pastor, and service came to a close. It ended, Pastor's last service ended, and the only thing we could do was cry and embrace eachother. Lines formed behind both Pastor and Susan as people waited their turn to hug, cry, and say their goodbyes through cracking voices. I watched as Susan hugged every person that passed her, wipping tears from her cheeks with the back of her hand rather than pulling a tissue from the box sitting on the alter stairs. I took generously from the box, stairing at the vociferous room, tissues in hand held close to my chest, and replayed what felt like Pastor's every service in my mind. His dry humor, his booming voice, his lack of concern for personal space, his always tactful advice, the feeling of saftey that you always get when he's at service, and the insecure feeling that forms when he's away at conference. I didn't want to let go of his hand in our final handshake, and my voice rattled as I thanked him for just being here with us. He smiled and laughed as I talked about crying through every Foley service to come and moving to New Mexico after them.

In the end, after the last wading family left, all us young kids joined Pastor and Susan for one last picture and still Susan with wedding bells ringing in her ears, backed away from the crowd, arms spread out towards us, "Perfect, I can just match you up now...Okay you go over here with him," she laughed. We smiled wide as we all blinked through the final flash and then we left. Pastor walked out the doors, cold air brushing his thin gray hairs, Susan close to his side holding her skirt above the west greening cemet. They will like the New Mexican heat.

I felt nauseous walking back into the sactuary that night (but I think it was a reaction to my perfurm more than overwhelming feelings). I haven't yet addressed Foley, but I will with in the coming days. He is my new Pastor, I can't ignore him forever. Pastor wouldn't want that, he expects more from me. So next Wednesday, I'll walk through the maroon colored doors, not be engaged by Pastor's awkward belated greeting, sit in the second row, and slowly adjust to Foley's manner of speaking. It shouldn't take long; I hope.
-Toby K.

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