Church life wouldn’t be church life without the people. One friend commented to me that his job as a service manager would be great if it weren’t for the people he had to deal with. But those in ministry must take a higher view. People are certainly frustrating and unpredictable, but when dealing with congregates, ministers cannot view it as a job. Church ministry is just that – a ministry calling from God and people are that make up. Getting involved in the struggles, frustrations and victories in people’s lives is where this calling leads. And you have opportunities to meet some very interesting individuals along the way.
A Pastor friend told me of one such character. He was self employed with a Suburban. He used his vehicle to transport cadavers for funeral homes. Right off the bat you know that he has had some notable encounters.
Of course he laid the body in the back of the Suburban and sometimes it was before they had been placed in the casket. Once he was stopped in the HOV lane and the policeman said, “You know this lane requires a minimum of two people, don’t you?” At which he pointed to the back & said, “That is a person.” After investigating the policeman said, “Just get out of here!” and allowed him to proceed.
Once late at night he had a tire problem and pulled into an out of the way station. He was going to change it himself and parked to the side, mostly in the dark. It was a slow evening and the attendant came out and asked him if he could help. He told him sure & asked him to get the spare tire out of the back. So the large man opened the rear door and the first thing he saw was a toe tag on this deceased gentleman laying there. The last our friend saw him he was saying, “No sir, no sir, no sir” and walked off down the street, leaving the station unattended.
Once while carrying the casket in his Suburban to the grave side he had to stop abruptly because of a problem with the car in front of him. Now the passenger happened to be a very slight elderly lady that was too small to fill the casket. When he stopped he was hoping that the family did not want to open the casket again because he knew that grandma surely had slipped to the foot of the casket, out of view if he had to open it. But sure enough they wanted one last look at their sweet grandma before the burial. He told the attendant. “Ask them to give me a minute.” Then he opened the casket, pulled grandma up to the opening and straightened her hat & dress. He did it indiscreetly and all was well.
God places many people in our lives. We should appreciate them for what they do and who they are. Policemen, gas station attendants and grieving families are all a part of this man’s life. And he is a blessing to my Pastor friend, keeping the load of ministry a little lighter with stories from his life.