Thursday, November 6, 2008

his time is coming

"Sometimes I just cry," the pastor said, "because I am not doing what I know God has called me to do."

To feed his family, the pastor drives a truck that delivers building supplies to orders from across the region. It takes a significant amount of time--time he wishes was used in a full-time teaching ministry.

"I want to do exactly what you're doing," he said.

I went on to say that yes, indeed, I am doing exactly what I have always wanted to do: teaching the Bible in the midst of the Church. That I can do so, as I explained to him, is a testament to the place in which I grew up.

"I was set up to succeed. People here are not set up to succeed. But your time is coming."

"My time is coming," he said.

I continued,"I want you to have my job. Take over the Bible School! But things don't work like that. There's nothing I can give you that can give you now what you've always wanted. It's only hard work. Your time is coming."

He knows all this. And he wants to work. And I hope that I actually believe my own dictum: "your time is coming." (In my mind I was also thinking, "well, maybe not your time, but perhaps your children's time.")

Until his time comes, we are giving him our company, our support, our prayers, some teaching in the midst of his congregation, and some scheming about a potential micro-finance and self-help saving project. Is it enough?

I had to wonder at my words. Once upon a time, a group of white clergymen told a black preacher named Martin Luther King to wait for the justice of the kingdom he sought. Was their "wait" my "your time is coming"?

-Joe

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