Pastor's Memo...

Not long ago I was buying a Diet-Pepsi at the gas station.  With the pandemic, there were strict instructions on where one should stand while waiting for one's turn to approach the cashier.  The floor of this establishment has arrows and "Xs" on the floor for the efficient and safe movement of human traffic.  Present was an older woman who looked confused.  Let's just say, she didn't know where to stand nor did she know what place in line she was.  I was behind her with my re-fill.  She says out loud: "Who's next?  I don't know who's next."  Being the smart alack that I am, from behind her I pipe up and say: "You must be; after all you're a treasure."  She looks at me with a quizzical expression on her face.  I continue: "You're standing on the 'X' and 'X' marks the spot.  You must be the hidden treasure.  You're next."  She sort of smiles an almost smile and pays for her bottled fruit drink.  She heads for the door as I pay for my re-fill.  She stops at the door and waits.  She's not wearing a mask, but I am.  She begins to tell me she's not had a good day.  She can't get in to see her mother in the nursing home in Goshen, she's had her hours cut back at work, and she's still waiting for her (expletive deleted) check from Donald Trump.  A few more distasteful descriptives directed at The Donald flow almost without effort from her lips and I bite my tongue.  I don't know who she is; but I know who I am.  I'm Calvary's pastor under the immediate supervision of Bishop Trimble's conference superintendent.  I listen and I nod and I smile, after a fashion, as she continues her diatribe about the President, her job, and the rest of her life.  She steps out to the parking lot.  The last thing I said to her was "You must be the hidden treasure.  You're next."  As she starts to get in her car, she turns, looks at me, and says with a sigh that was hardly a whisper: "Nobody ever told me I was a treasure before."  That's when I knew biting my tongue through the length and breadth of her revilement of Trump and her lament concerning her mother and the economic hardship she was continuing to endure was God's doing.  Keeping me silent while she vented became a blessing for me, perhaps for both of us.  The proof of it were the tears in her eyes as she climbed into her car and drove south on Indiana State Road 13.