Monday, September 8, 2008

on conversations with popo and hospital rooms

I am up in Spokane tonight, spending time with my grandpa while he waits to undergo surgery tomorrow. These are words and stories that poured forth in moments that often go unwritten. This is Popo's story... the words I clarified for him are in brackets.

I heard an Illustration that was used once at a conference in Colorado Springs, someone asked one of the pastors that never flew anyplace, ‘Why don’t you fly, you always use the train’ ‘Well the Lord never said he would protect me on a plane’ ‘What is that supposed to mean?’ ‘He said ‘low I am with you always.’

This next [illustration] was told as a real story but I’m not sure if it is or not… [it was] about a beautiful large church, kind of upper-class, so to speak, and it was right across the street from the University. [One Sunday] this kid came into the church wearing his worn-out sandals, and he walked in, the church was full and he couldn’t find a seat. He had jeans and a big beard, and he walked all the way down to the front and he folded his legs and sat on the floor right in front of the front pews. The whole time he walked, people that thought they were all ritzy were astounded, and then all at once in the quietness they heard an older gentlemen get up, a man with a cane, and he walked all the way to the front, and as difficult as it was to sit down, he sat down next to the young man, and put his hand on his shoulder. The pastor couldn’t preach his sermon or anything, it blew the church apart when they realized ‘we think we are so hot, and here is this guy who goes and sits down [on the floor].’

And that’s the way it should be… if Jesus was walking down the aisle people would say ‘he doesn’t belong in our church.’ It was told to me as a true story but I don’t know if it is or not.

So I talked to [my old friend] Rich on the phone… the talk came around to age eventually… he said ‘Floyd I’m going to be sixty soon’ so we got to talking about this and that, and anyhow, long story short, I felt led to preach a sermon last Sunday on something I have never preached on because it didn’t appeal to me and that is on the subject of age and getting older. I can’t remember exactly, I think it's Psalm 37, it says something like, 'I was young once, but now I am old, and I have never seen the righteous go hungry'...

I preached [a sermon called] ‘come and grow old along with me’ and so I brought out some of the aspects of what it meant to be aged, what transpired [in our lives], what can benefit people... Some people in their eighties that I know minister more [to the community] than their pastor.. they fold bulletins for three or four thousand people downtown… some have a food pantry, some friends of mine, Lee and Glenda Gwin and I think she is eighty-something and he might be right at ninety, and they go down and work in the food pantry [downtown] and feed people that need food, and some markets give them vegetables and stuff like that… [it goes to show that] even in your older years you can still be doing something for the Lord.

People [at church on Sunday] said it was interesting that I took a subject that maybe would be unappealing because none of us really like to get old because there are various things that can happen to you, but there are still a lot of good you can do for the cause of Christ… I had about five points but I can’t remember all of them… I talked about [the] advantages of being old, and about your family. You have a tighter knit family sometimes and you have long relationships that have gone for a long time, years and years, and one of the things about your children is that you wake up one day and realize that your children are your friends… when they’re growing up you’re not sure and you’re not always looked well upon by your children… but when you get older, your kids are your friends not just your kids.

Someone asked me a week or two ago if I was walking and I said ‘yeah I only walked two blocks last night, got tired in front of the funeral home and sat down out front waiting for them to open up.’

All in all, Dayna, I just like people. And I think when you like people, they like you too. I think it’s like the Bible says, ‘to have a friend you have to be a friend,’ or something along those lines… it’s just always been my 'thing'… for lack of a better term. I love people. And because of that, people by enlarge love me too. I don’t have many enemies.

When they told me I had to have this pacemaker opened up again and have this other surgery a few weeks ago because they thought something was flipping out in my heart... There was a nurse I hadn’t seen before, and when I told her my age she said ‘you couldn’t be that old!’… and that makes me like them whether they like me or not! We got to talking and I told her I was a pastor, and she said ‘I just can’t believe that, and that you are 83’ so when I got ready to leave Judi and I were walking down the hallway, and the nurse was getting ready to leave down the hall in front of us. She turned around and blew me a kiss… it almost made me tear up, it was so sweet. A neat little nurse. I just really love people.

more to follow.


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