Sunday, June 22, 2003


Today was a special day at church. We marked Gordon's tenth anniversary as Pastor. The "ceremony" has been in the planning stages for a few weeks and thanks to the work of several devoted individuals we pulled it off without Gordon or his wife Jeanene catching on.
For the past couple of weeks people have been coming up to me at the church, literally in the sanctuary within a few feet of Gordon or Jeanene, and handing me mysterious envelopes or cash. The antics went undetected. I could have been dealing crack out of the church just as easily.

In actuality, the envelopes contained letters written by members of the congregation and the cash was for token gift certificates to mark the anniversary.

It's part of being human to be focused on the day ahead, the task at hand, and ourselves more often than others. That Gordon overlooked clues that a conspiracy was afoot is not surprising to me whatsoever, and it didn't surprise him either.

What I think is surprising is that perhaps Gordon and Jeanene don't recognize how truly inspirational they are to the people around them. That quality is not rooted in their positions in the church, but in their very nature. They are on a journey to be closer to God and they welcome others to share the roadway.

Among those letters written by our church members were testaments about what Gordon and Jeanene mean to us. They were presented to Gordon by our littlest church members in a scrapbook carefully crafted by the talents of Cynthia.

It's abundantly clear "to us": We love Gordon and Jeanene. They are valued.

Our mistake is in assuming that others see what we see so plainly.

I think God was telling me today to spend more time letting people know the wonderful qualities I see in them.