The next day,pastor Becky arived at the church. She went to her office. She saw a series of flowers on her desk. “Whats this?”she asked. “Oh. It is for you.”her asistent jill said. She looked at the card. “To pastor becky. Hope this britghens your day. You have brightened myine. ” it was singed pastor craig. She chuckled.
“Something you want to tell me becky?”Jill asked. ” he is a freiend?”she said. “So is he the reason you went to hagervile?”she asked. “Yea. He was the one that came to our church a few weeks ago.”Lilly said.
“Are things serious between you two?”jill asked.”i dont know. We did just meet. He is a fundy. I meen hatd core. “Lilly said. “Oh! He has not run for the hills?”jill asked. “Quite the opposite. “Lilly said. “You have not run for the hills?”jill asked. “No i have not. Should i?”lilly asked.
“I have never seen you like this. ” remarked. “I have not felt like this i. Some time. ” lilly said. “Your bot afraid it cant work? You two are destened for dissaster?”jill asked. “No i am woried about that. ” lilly asked.
“Why are you not runing for the hills?”jill asked. “Becuase i dont want you.” lilly said. “I figured. Well i hope it works out. I really do. “Jill said. Lilly did not say abything but she hoped that too.
Later on in the day. Craig called her. “Hi craig!”she said. “Did you get the flowers?”he asked. “I did. Thank you so much. They were beautiful. It was very thoughtfull. “Lilly answered. “I hoped it was not too soon. ” he said.”no! Your timing was perfect. “She said.
She wondered what he ment by two soon. Was he thinking that they were a couple or would be someday. What was he thinking? Did he think that they had a future together. Did he want them to?
“I’m glad. Your not alurgic. I almost asked you but. I did not want to give away the secret. ” he said. “I am definently not alergic to flowers. ” she said. “I am glad you like them. ” he said.
She found that he had a way of calming her. She liked that about him.he knew how to sooth her. The more she got to know him the more she came to love him. She admired him. She found him to be kind and gentle.
Though she was known as a strong leader at her church. She was confident and competent. She coukd be forcefull. She has wisdom and was good at stratigy. He had goals and had a plan to bring them to fruition. To outsiders she seemed to be all bussiness all the time. She was a workahilic.
She seemed to be all work. She had no real social life. When not involved in church activities she was involved in comunity and civic events. That was not the real her. Craig started to see a different side of her.
They rearanged there shudule so they could get tohether on saterday. Saterday morning they got ready for sunday. Saterday afternoon they would spend the afternoon together. It was his turn to come see her.
She made chicken salid sandwitch. She made a chese cake for desert. She brought chips. She liked to bake . she did not do it much. She was constently on the go.
He met up her at a park. They usualy did not engage in hardly any public display of affection but she hugged him. “How is the surmon coming?”she asked. “Really good. I am preaching on finding peace with God. My primary text is Romans. 3:24 but i am going to go though several ddifferent. verses. You have it easy. All you do is follow the lectionary. ” he said.
“Yes the topic is assigned. I can have the fredom to take it where i will. I put my iwn personal touch. It is usualy a bit vaugue. ” she said. “If the topic or passege of scrupture is assigned mounths in advance by some luturgical body somewhere,where does work of the holy sprit come in? I dont know how many times my entire surmon has changed sometimes minutes before the surmon begins.” he said.
“God is a God of order. Lectionary is a tool that can keep a preacher from avoiding rabit trails. By designating the pasege it reduces the risk of preaching a pet peve. ” she said.
“I am careful not to go on a rabit trail. I dont know if i could never get use to having my surmon topics assigned every week. At bible colege i waa asishned to preach from seccond chronicles 7:14. I believe that was for the original readers not directly given to twenty first century america. The professor felt differently. I avoided the promise and dealt with it in the context of israel. I delt with getting right with God and his restoration while avoiding the promise aspect. I got good comments from the proof. He felt i should have tied it to america. Oh well!” he said.
“I take it you are big on independence of the local church?” she asked. “Yes. I believe that local churches shoyld be self governed. I dont believe that churches should be islands. I meet up with area fundamental pastors. My dad is a pastor and i stay in touch with him. I keeo acontible with an area pastor i should consider a sprituel farther.i do believe in acontibility. ” he said.
The picnic was a huge success. He loved the chicken salid sandwitch. She did not realize he could eat. He was thin . Almost too thin. He did eat. She wore a gray shirt and green skirt.she had removed her flip flops. The day was going great. Then he had to say it.
“What are we? Are we dating?” he asked. “No! Lets not go there!”she said. She seemed nervous,agitated. “I dont understand “he said. “I dont want to go there yet. We realy enjoy eachothers compony. I know i love being with you. I think you enjoy spending time with me. ” she told her.”i do. Very much so. “He answered.
“Once we try to figure this all out then its gets complicated. We have to deal with the eliphent im the room neither one of us knows how to. I know we are going to have to deal with all of this but i dont want to yet.i dont know if we can sort all of this. “She said.
“Im sory. I did not meen to upset you. Your right. I probably should have waited to ask. I got curios. “He said. “Its ok. This is a fantasy isn’t it. Your a separatist Baptist,i am a welcoming united Methodist. We are entranced in our denominational ideologies. It is crazy to think we can make this work. One of us would have to leave there world and embrace the other. I dont think it could work long term without it. ” she said.
“You believe for our relationship to work long term,one of us has to give up our dream?” he asked. “Dont you?” she asked. “I gues your right. “He said. “You would want me to be the one to resign? You dont see female ministers as legitimate. Of course i should be the one to quit. ” she said.
“I dont believe bibilicaly women should be pastors. God is creator and redemer, he gets to decide how his church is governed. God designed men to be in leadership even before the fall. “He said.
“I disagree. Yes it does say the bishop is to husband of one wife. That is an example. There is no explicit command that a pastor must be male.”she said. “That is a bit of linguistic gymnastics. “He said. “I dont think so. How do we make this work? Can we realistically? “She asked.
“I dont know!”he asked. “I figured. “She said. “I am sory i brought it up. I did not meen to upset you.”he said “its ok. I know that. Why did you show up a week later? You could have gone back to hagervile and we could have never seen eachother again. Why risk it all?” she asked.
“I dont believe my stoping at your church was an acident. I was not lonly or inconplete or any of that before i met you. At least i did not think so. I did not perposly remain single during the last few years. I believe i needed to focus on the ninistry. Focus on establishing the church and establishing myself. I believe God work on the best timing,his timing not ours. Meeting you was the highlight of that whole trip. I could not stop thinking about you. I dismissed it at first but i knew there was more going on. ” he said.
“I will never be your dream wife. I am not exactly independent fundimental Baptist. I could not get out of that world. You can take me out of the pastorate but i wont be your kind of wife. Thats just not who i am. You would not be happy as a united Methodist pastor’s husbend?” she said.
“Is that you want? Me to resign from gospel Baptist and be a pastor’s husband? ” he asked. “I could not ask that of you.you believe that this is God’s caling in your life. I would not want to undermine that. So where does that leave us? A masive stand still. ” she said.
“Would you rather have had me not come back a week later?” he asked. “It might have made life easier. It would have been simpler. No i wouldn’t. That would have made me sad not to see you again. ” she answered.
They tabled the conversation for a while. There was a voly ball net set up. They played for a bit. They each won three games. He decided he should head back. She made him promise he would call when he got home. She worried until he called.
“Hi bec. Im home!”he said. “Good im glad. I did have a good day with you. I love spending time with you.” she said. “I had a good time with you. I love hanging out with you. ” he said.
Things were complicated between them. They both knew it. Neither one knew how to solve it. Perhaps there was for another time.
To be continued.